About Basel - Culture Unlimited
Basel in Switzerland is one of the leading tourism destinations, known for its art and culture. Major events like "Art Basel" and "Basel World" attracts many visitors from around the world. In addition to business and congress tourism, Basel Tourism is also targeting the growing leisure tourism. Online booking of hotels, packages and events is key for Basel Tourism.
- Drupal offers great CMS functionality right out of the box. Basel has a big marketing team responsible for creating and managing content, therefore a CMS with a comfortable back-end was a must.
- The architecture of Drupal is very generic and extendable for any custom need.
- Because Drupal is open source, we are able to solve almost any problem by diving into the code or communicating with developers through IRC or other channels.
The goal of the project was to build a booking and information portal that provides clean and easy access to all touristic information provided by Basel. Key to the project was providing a seamless process; from finding the information with comfortable search functionality to eventually booking a stay. Another key feature would be a user experience unencumbered by pop-ups and redirects to third party services.
To be able to compete against the big international booking platforms, Basel offers unique packages including accommodation, event tickets and other services. In order to provide a powerful booking back end to their clients (hotels) for managing these services (packages, vacancies), Basel chose a sophisticated destination management system provided by Tomas. The booking front end had to display these offers in a user friendly interface with great performance (caching) and SEO.
Throughout the whole portal, the faceted search functionality would provide clear, intuitive results, no matter if the user was looking for accommodation, a restaurant or an event. The search experience of filtering by any criteria and getting an appropriate result would be consistent, making it extremely easy for a user to navigate through the portal to the desired information.
Ratings - Comments
An important criteria for users to book a hotel are ratings and user comments. Ratings of customers who already visited a hotel should be shown in the search result lists with the ability for users to look for even more information, such as comments, without interrupting the booking flow. This was done by introducing detail tabs, collapsing and paging.
CMS - Back end
Most content, such as events and restaurants, which is aggregated by third-party systems, is created and managed by a team of editors. Therefore it was important to have an easy to use back end to be able to create, manage, filter and tag content of any media (text, images and videos, for example).
Focusing mainly on international customers, the portal offers its content in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.
For a convenient search and booking experience, performance is a must. Using Drupal's variety of caching-mechanisms and modules such as Cache Actions allowed to meet these high expectations.
There has been a commit or patch contributed by Cando on almost every module used in this project.