18th October 2018. Cardiff. England Rugby Travel is a joint venture business between Mike Burton Travel (part of The Mike Burton Group Limited), a leading sports travel, hospitality and event management company and England Rugby.
The Mike Burton Group commissioned Inspiretec to develop a new online travel platform to be used for their business. Inspiretec delivered an innovative re-usable website engine, that delivers both short and long-haul travel options for customers, including search, cost and booking experiences. The engine will become the foundation for The Mike Burton Group’s other developing sites, allowing them to re-use the engine to drive their rapidly growing joint venture sports travel portfolio.
The tour sites will sit within a single Umbraco CMS and integrate with their third-party tour reservation platform. The Umbraco platform has been extended to provide bespoke features specific to the group’s requirements, such as reporting and the ability to manually push through bookings into internal processing systems.
As England Rugby Travel has been appointed as the exclusive travel agent for Great Britain for Rugby World Cup 2019, the engine’s first deployment was for the launch of England Rugby Travel’s ticket-inclusive travel packages to Asia’s first Rugby World Cup.
The site launched to a select group of England Rugby Travel priority access pass customers in April and delivered the digital element of England Rugby Travel’s integrated marketing campaign for the tournament.
In the first week, the site has handled £2.3m in online bookings, with over 85% of the total bookings made online - testament to user confidence in the web booking experience.
Richard Baker, Inspiretec’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “The Mike Burton websites were built with performance and user flow in mind. We wanted users to have a seamless experience when searching for and booking a package.
Close attention was paid to the build process behind the site, with several automated optimisations made to the code during builds. Caching also plays a big role throughout the site to improve the speed of content delivery.
The result is highly dynamic functionality and instant feedback when the user makes an interaction. The thoroughly tested and highly optimised solution builds trust with the user so they feel confident in placing a booking which is evident at this early stage.”
Ian Edwards, Chief Executive of The Mike Burton Group said: “It’s great that the first website in this project is live and performing well. Our intention was to have a fully integrated website, working seamlessly with our tour reservation platform, to drive efficiency for the business and improve customer experience.
The engine has delivered, with external customers and our internal business users experiencing the efficiency and flexibility that were primary objectives of the development project. We are extremely pleased that there is now a core base from which we can further develop to enhance our customers' and internal business users' experience further.”
The Inspiretec team and Mike Burton team are now working on the second phase of the site with Mike Burton having developed a detailed road-map for tracking and planning future developments. “In parallel we are preparing to launch an additional version of the platform for England Rugby Travel’s annual official supporter travel programmes, which includes the 6 Nations, Old Mutual Wealth International Series and summer tours together with creating brochureware sites for England Rugby Travel’s club, schools and universities playing tour department and England Sports Tours.”
England Rugby Travel’s Rugby World Cup site can be found here.