A major development including acres of bespoke code for this small, but surprisingly complex tour operator.

Dragoman approached Mr Zen with a problem - their complex product management due to the nature of their overlapping tours and combinations was extremely difficult to manage.

They wanted to be able to take bookings online with payments, but there didn't appear to be an easy way to connect their Access 2000 back office system to the web. At least until we stepped in...


Visit the site

Dragoman homepage

The Website

The Dragoman website is quite simply one of the most complex travel websites in terms of functionality and scope on the internet. Features include a massive community component, full tour management, combination builder (bespoke), bespoke booking system, integrating with their back office system and more...

The original design was created by Mr Zen based on Dragoman's requirements and has since been updated by them in house to include mobile responsiveness.



The massive amount of data that is involved with operating such a wide variety of tours means that the management of the content is of high importance. All of the tour content is managed in the CMS while the dates, prices and availability are brought in from their reservations system.

In addition to that, some of the tours are brought in from 3rd party tour operators and therefore needed to be displayed alongside the tours managed within the CMS.

Bookings are fed through to their Access Database via a .NET application built by Mr Zen which exposes the system to the website via a secure bespoke API.

"Sometimes it is necessary to sit back and enjoy an improvement. The Trip Notes are such a moment. Thanks for these they are brilliant."

Charlie Hopkinson, MD, Dragoman


Trip Notes

Dragoman's requirement to have pdf tripnotes detailing the activities on each day of their 300+ trips was a challenge - the trip notes use shared 'copy items' organised into categories so that information shared across multiple tours can be updated in one place only.

The trip notes are generated using an XML -> PDF converter which we used to style these automatically generated tomes. Some of the trip notes have over 70 pages because of the length of the trips!


Content Management

Content management of the website is done using the TravelZen system with some of the data coming from their in house reservation system built using Microsoft Access, and integrated using a bespoke .NET application.

In the case of Dragoman, they are using the tour component, along with the accommodation, locations and other useful functionality.



Dragoman's search is powered by a SOLR indexing system which allows users to be able to make incredibly complex queries in a fraction of a second. This allows us to create the extremely effective search facility on Dragoman's website.



SEO is core to our developments, since taking on the TravelZen system and it's associated structure and functionality, Dragoman's natural search engine traffic has rocketed, by ensuring that every tour and every landing page has just the right level of SEO.


Currency & Language

As Dragoman operates worldwide, it is important that their website reflects the local markets in terms of currency and features.

Currency is managed by IP address look up.


Agent Functionality

Dragoman deal with agents around the word who sell their products via the Dragoman website. All an agent needs to do is log in with their username and password and the booking process on the trips is adjusted for them.

Integrations Made

paypal DS1 Social Networks

Technologies Employed

Joomla Ubuntu New Relic mysql php apache solr