In 2012, TUI decided to optimize its tourism business in India, and some other countries outside Europe. The business ROI from the Indian market was much lower as compared to that of European countries, including Germany and France, and the website was at the center of this business optimization process. The TUI India website had multiple platforms for selling travel packages. The main challenge was to boost enquiries and sales of packages online, and bring the performance level of tui.in at par with tui.com. The TUI team decided to revamp the website and set out the following objectives from the exercise:
- Build a new architecture
- Enhance user experience and improve flow of images
- Optimize website code
- Strengthen website functionalities
- Integrate with Salesforce
Srijan had previously worked with the project owner at TUI India, who was convinced of Srijan’s capabilities and strong focus on lean thinking and Agile processes for development. The TUI team decided to contract Srijan to build a Drupal 7 website. The initial development of the website took three months.
Drupal 7 Website with Custom Travel Packages Srijan’s design partner, Design For Use, designed the new website. The new architecture for tui.in was discussed with the project owner and rest of the stakeholders. The previous version of the architecture included itinerary packages and a few destinations as static pages on the website. The TUI India team was sure that replicating the current features in the new website would suffice.
However, there were some initial hiccups for Srijan, as the website design was based on the old architecture and the new design demanded changes at the architecture level. After a couple of discussions, it was decided that the architecture development should be split into multiple sprints.
The development team then started with the main features of the site. The main functionalities added were custom travel packages, payment gateway and the custom “Buy Package” option. Another functionality that was not available previously was that of “Featured Packages”, where some packages were highlighted as per the need.
The images supporting the text also had to be improved heavily in terms of quality and design. To incorporate HD images on the website, the Srijan team created an image carousel which enabled the TUI team to feature the images according to priority.
Some of the highlights of the project include:
Integration with Salesforce CRM: Previously, offline packages were listed on the old website, and were sold in various Indian cities. Since the website was not very user-friendly, the sales did not see much traction. With the new, easy-to-use website, TUI India team now also needed a way to capture the enquiries, and be able to take action on them. So Srijan’s team integrated Salesforce with the Drupal 7 website. This has enabled TUI India to reach out to their customers and prospects at the earliest, and gives a much better control on their leads.
Website users often spend a lot of time in searching for the right information. In the new website, they get a “Connect with us” option. They can easily ask for information such as Destination Guides with no packages, or the next version of an expired package. They can now leave their query, and someone from the TUI team would reach out to them.
New Payment Gateway and Integration with PayU: The Srijan team also smoothened out the implementation of online payment on the website. The new payment gateway was integrated using PayU. It had some unforeseen challenges. However, Srijan developed the entire feature in just 15 days, earlier than what was estimated. This was immensely appreciated by the CEO of TUI India, who was delighted to hear about the timely revision and execution.
Zomato Integration: Every excited traveller at a new destination wants to know about the best things to do and the new attractions to visit. But one of the first requirements is to find suitable places to eat. For this, the restaurants are fetched from Zomato. The TUI team just needs to save the longitude and latitude of every location. The ratings and reviews are pulled into the website using the Zomato API.
Besides the integrations with Salesforce, PayU and Zomato, there were two more API integrations on tui.in:
Visa Guidelines: To keep travelers informed about the complex visa requirements during international travel, Srijan integrated the IVA API that enabled the team to attach country-specific visa guidelines, after creating a destination guide.
Instagram Pictures: Images on TUI India’s Instagram profile were fetched using Instagram API, adding to the visual appeal of the new website.
Other website features added to enhance the user experience of every TUIrist:
- Package Coupons using Points System: On the basis of website activity, every user can get votes from other users. These votes can then be used as points for redeeming coupons on packages.
- Substitute Location-based Packages: If website users search for a destination for which there are no current packages available, the “Other packages based on your search” would be displayed, which are prioritized by location. For eg: If a user found no packages for Ahmedabad, then she would be shown other packages in India. If there were no packages for India, then the user would be shown other packages in Asia.
- Travel Story Submissions: Besides users having access to a number of basic features, they are given an option to “Publish a Travel Story”, the blogger option for travel bloggers as well as every TUIrist.
Website Hosting The hosting of TUI's website is managed by Srijan's partner Scale Monks Technologies. This was carried out in three phases. Srijan did the development on its own server managed by Scale Monks. This was done to ensure that there are no deployment glitches in handling different server configurations. Then coding and database was migrated to the staging phase, which was hosted at Amazon EC2. The client was keen on EC2 because of security and flexibility. Once TUI gave the go ahead after their testing with staging, the production was made live on EC2.
Key Benefits Having worked with the Srijan team before, the project owner from TUI India was sure of Srijan’s capabilities, as well as the focus on business thinking and Agile processes for development. The TUI team was also pleased with Srijan’s ability to adhere to aggressive deadlines, discuss the urgent requirements with the client, optimize availability of project resources, prioritize tasks, and even push back a feature. All this was done to make sure the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) was out as per schedule. The CEO of TUI India praised the TUI project owner for getting the new payment gateway integrated in 15 days, and also mentioned that it was incredible work on part of Srijan. Today, tui.in provides a holistic experience for the website user and an easy backend interface for the TUI India team. The new website provides the following benefits to the TUI India team:
- Improved User Experience: The image carousel has enabled the prioritization of the HD images on website, improving its visual appeal. The Instagram API integration also adds to the UX enhancement.
- Easier Sales of Online Packages: Custom packages, added functionalities, and the new website architecture have boosted the sales of online packages.
- Keeping TUIrists Informed: The PayU and Visa integrations help users save time and effort, while the Zomato integration helps travelers find relevant restaurants, bars and cafes around them.
- Better Management of Leads: Integration with Salesforce has enabled the TUI India team to track their leads and stay in touch with them.
- Additional Features for Website Users: The points system based on user activity, substitute packages, and the blogging feature were also included in the website, thus making it a lot more engagement-driven.
For more stories on Drupal and Travel, have a look at our other featured success stories.