Ellison Travel & Tours is one of the largest Canadian-owned travel agencies in Canada. For group tours, Ellison had relied on a proprietary tour booking and management system that was custom-built for them some time ago. Business growth has meant the existing system needed revisiting.
Olio identified ways that the tours system could be more user friendly, could handle multiple payment methods for the same traveller, make it easier for families to register together, and to clearly display when tour payments had occurred & would occur. The new group tour booking and management system, custom built by Olio for Ellison, has a fresh design, a completely new code base using the Laravel PHP framework, and is responsive to tablets and smartphone devices. It’s integrated with Ellison’s new WordPress-based website so website administrators can avoid duplicate tour information entry, and also cuts down on the time travellers spend creating and managing tour registrations.
How We Got There
Olio worked with Ellison’s team to identify what the existing system did well, what needed to be changed, and review what Ellison’s customers were saying. The existing group tours system was heavily merged with Ellison’s public web site and the team had desired autonomy between marketing and e-commerce efforts. Ideally, so that the marketing team didn’t risk impacting mission-critical e-commerce applications with new marketing campaigns and efforts.
The Olio team embarked on designing and developing an entirely new group tour booking and management system that would sit alongside the existing one. This let us break away from the legacy code, integrate with the new WordPress-based website that was being developed, and make tour registrations far more flexible.
We made it possible for users to create multiple registrations for the same tour, use the same account to register for multiple tours whenever they like, and designed improved customer statements that were easy to read. We also took the opportunity to re-design registration reports, implemented improved payment management tools, and added the ability to easily apply custom fees for travellers requesting additional items or services.