Journey Latin America is the largest and most experienced specialist tour operator to Central and South America, with a vast amount of experience, knowledge and passion for the region. The website plays a huge part in the customer journey and sales process, with a mixture of pre-designed trips that can be booked online, to example itineraries that can be tailored by experts.
The website had gone through various iterations since launch in 2006, but needed a total overhaul in order to help JLA achieve their objectives of selling more holidays (both on and offline), expanding international reach, and allow for better interaction with customers. The current website was built with an over-complicated, inflexible CMS system, making it hard for the client to adapt and optimise. Meanwhile, the breadth of the company’s offering, and the uniqueness of its positioning was compromised.
Latin America is a vast region, with over 23 different countries, and JLA operate in a variety of ways, from tailor-made luxury to Group Tours, and the style of holiday incorporates activities, food & wine, culture, along with off-the-beaten track adventure. The current website leaned too heavily towards presenting a wealth of options to potential customers. It gave customers the control to choose what they wanted, but at the expense of giving them towards an understanding of what the Journey Latin Experience was really about. There was too much choice, not enough inspiration.
Our work began with an overhaul of the Information Architecture. Understanding the audience helped us create journeys for different types of traveller and different scenarios. Crucially, we focused on accounting for travellers who knew what they were looking for, but also for users who did not, and were looking for inspiration, advice, previous travellers’ experiences.
I don't think a day has gone by since we've launched our new site when one of the team hasn't said how much they love it. Having moved from a very sophisticated and complex CMS that was incredibly expensive, time consuming and frustrating to work with our new site is literally a joy. Not only is it beautifully designed, fresh and inspiring, but the customer journeys and therefore user experience are infinitely better. The CMS desk itself is also incredibly user friendly, meaning we can turn around fixes and react to any issues quickly and easily. We literally couldn't be any happier.Jenny Powles, Head of Press and Marketing Journey Latin America
We re-focused the navigation and re-categorised some crucial areas of content, such as Holiday Styles (streamlined down from 22 styles to 5), whilst giving users a flavour of what sat behind the important headers, so users could understand the difference between a Private Journey and a Group Tour.
The Inspiration Section was redesigned, giving people filterable content areas, and a new look that distinguished it from the rest of the site, feeling more like a magazine than holiday listing.
Liberating Journey Latin America from a complex, restrictive CMS was a key part of the project. We recommended a multi-service strategy, with a bespoke WordPress build at the site’s heart, allowing users to manage and customise the site with ease. Alongside this was a Laravel-powered application that provided APIs for the website and third-party services to interact with the various back-end services, such as booking system, form handling, client communication, search, live holiday dates and prices, and more.
Meanwhile, a huge technical hurdle was overcome with the migration of 5,000 pages and a huge media library from the old system, requiring thousands of lines of code to be written to handle and convert the data and media for use with WordPress.