Robinzon.travel

Robinzon.travel is an online platform for travel agencies to sell dynamic travel packages.

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Russian travel market is very different from what you can normally see in Europe or US. Most of sales come from the travel agencies, which are re-selling packages created by tour operators.

The market itself is very sluggish with very slow adoption of new platforms, new functionality and new travel locations due to complexity of relations between tour operators, hotels, airlines and travel agencies working as mediators.

In the past few years the market has started to change very dynamically where more and more people started booking airline tickets themselves online, same happened with hotels, car rentals and transfers, which was leading to the stagnation of the tour operators business model.

The challenge

Our client, one of the largest Russian tour operators Pitertour was looking to bring something completely new to the market. Something, which could be built by combining airlines offering with hotel booking offering and thus creating the package, which could be easily and quickly resold without much management and contractual hassle.

Partnership with Expedia, a largest global online travel booking platform came handy, as Pitertour has already been working with a platform that gathered GDS data and provided sweet pricing structure to them.

The platform

The platform which we had to build needed to accumulate data from various sources (Expedia and GDSs for starters), and create bookable dynamic packages, which could be resold by travel agencies, affiliated with Pitertour.

The process

Like every good project, this one started with a solid prototyping stage. First meeting, a dozen of pages of interface drafts and a lot of ideas flowing both sides.

Going further with paper was just impossible, so we went with a great tool – Divshot Architect. It is an awesome tool, that allows to build Bootstrap interfaces using a drag and drop GUI or pure code in the same tab with live preview. It even supports themification!!!

So, after a few iterations and tweaking of the UI, the system was ready to be built. The Bootstrap prototypes went straight to development, moreover, they were used as screenshots in JIRA and Confluence to support requirements visually.

Collaboration in Confluence and JIRA went really smooth thanks to the very understanding client of ours.

The architecture

Robinzon.travel was built using best practices for a potentially high-load web application with a scalable server-side as well as a responsive UI. With Java at the core and with use of Angular JS on the front-end the application can quickly scale and can easily be modified to change styles, etc.

Current version of the app is live for the enterprise users and the plans are to launch it for B2C in Q2 2015.

With Expedia hotels offering and unique tariffs from several GDS, the platform will grow with more hotel providers and small air companies offerings being matched and brokeraged.


 

For more information on other solutions for online travel, please write at travel@obnt.co.