We have worked closely with Explore for a number of years on a number of projects from working with 3rd party development companies to building bespoke applications.
Explore operate nearly 600 tours worldwide, and sell worldwide, so their website needed to be incredibly flexible in order for them to be able to present these tours to their clients, and sell them effectively. Here are just some of the features of the website which we are very proud of.
Their website uses a widely used open source CMS at it's core, on top of which we have built a number of extensions and plugins to enable the complex data and functionality to be managed.
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. Explore’s reservation system provides this data in granular XML feeds which we pull into our CMS to keep the tour information up to date.
In addition to this, we pull in their departure and availability information from the system in order to keep the dates, prices and availability as up to date as possible.
Carl Burrows, Explore
Images are managed in our TravelZen image component, which in the case of Explore is integrated with their Image Library system back at HQ. All their marketing team need to do is tag the images correctly in their image library and send it off to the website and the system deals with the rest.
In addition to this, they are able to pick focal points of the images so that if the image is cropped by the system, we can make sure no one has their head chopped off!
Content management of the website and static pages is handled by third party open source extensions, while the travel related information is handled by our TravelZen Content Management extension.
In the case of Explore, they are using the tour component, along with the accommodation, locations and other useful functionality.
Explore'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 Explore's website.
SEO is core to our developments, since taking on the TravelZen system and it's associated structure and functionality, Explore’s natural search engine traffic has rocketed, by ensuring that every tour and every landing page has just the right level of SEO.
As Explore operates worldwide, it is important that their website reflects the local markets, both in terms of currency, but also tone of voice and in some cases features.
Managing multiple sites however is a huge task which is not efficient. Explore manage one site as the default, and any changes to the different locales are handled as overrides so that they can be managed independently.