Travel Alberta

How to Write a Great Description

How to Write a Compelling ATIS Description That Will Get You Noticed

Descriptions are an essential step in creating an effective Listing, Event or Offer. Their purpose is to provide travellers with essential information about your business and/or experience, and why they should visit.

A well-crafted ATIS description, paired with great imagery and appealing Offers, can help your business attract more customers. These descriptions should be engaging and informative, while helping potential consumers get excited about experiencing your product with the ultimate goal of booking.

Here are a few helpful tips on how to craft a noteworthy ATIS listing:

  • Before writing your description, make a list of the features that set you apart from your competition. Do you serve food made from local ingredients? Does your property have a great view? What do your visitors say about coming to your business, attraction or event? Get inspiration from former visitors, or even look on TripAdvisor to see what people say about you. Your ATIS description should answer some of the “what”, and a lot of the “why”. Simply listing the features of your property does not explain to visitors why they should want to visit you over others.
  • Once you have a list of your features, highlight a few to focus on and describe how these features benefit the consumer. Rather than writing that you are “conveniently located close to attractions”, explain that guests can “spend less time traveling and take in many major attractions within a 10-minute walk from your room”.
  • Many readers will only skim the first sentence or two of your description so lead with your most important benefits. Try to include your business name in the first two sentences.
  • Be authentic and accurate – meeting a customer’s expectations is key. Unless you have third-party validation (e.g., you have won a Housekeeping Award two years in a row from a recognized authority), don’t claim to be the best at something. Instead of claiming, “We have the best collection of art deco furniture,” point out that “The XYZ Art Museum has one of the most extensive public collections of art deco furniture in Canada with over 5,000 pieces on display."  
  • DO NOT USE ALL CAPS. Use title case for titles and sentence case for descriptions.
  • Do not include details in your listing that could change (such as business hours, contact details, etc.). Contact information is included in other areas of your listing and does not need to be included in the description. If you are writing an Offer description, you may include travel windows and Offer restrictions.
  • Be sure to update your listing at least every six months for accuracy. Wrong information can, and will, lead to customer frustration.
  • Avoid jargon, abbreviations or other complicated terms that may not be familiar to most people. Write your description just as how you would speak and don’t be afraid to add a little of your personality or voice.
  • Avoid using first-person terms like our or we in your listing. Since these listings appear on websites outside of your own site, third-person terms, such as it and they, are best.
  • Consider hiring a professional writer. If you require content development for your business (photography, video or written content), you may be eligible for cooperative marketing funding. Visit the Cooperative Marketing Investment Program page for more information on how to apply for funding support.