Ticino.ch, run by Ticino Turismo, is the top portal for tourism-related information about Ticino, Switzerland. The portal offers visitors information on accommodation, restaurants, transport and entertainment. Together with its sister sites, Ticino Tourism and Lake Maggiore Tourism, ticino.ch receives over 7,000 unique visitors and 30,000 page views per day.
Ticino Turismo decided to update its digital presence with a mobile first website that integrates with interactive elements like the innovative HikeTicino app and a number of interactive kiosk displays to offer a real multichannel experience. The new site, implemented by technology partner Tinext, allows data personalization, social media integration and multi-channel distribution.
Ticino.ch is now part of an integrated multi-channel communication strategy. This makes it easy to provide rich and personalized experiences to visitors, allowing them to interact and share social content.
Ticino Turismo had a comprehensive database of tourism related information that it shared with its partners. However, partners wanted to modify and add to this data for their own marketing needs and this wasn’t possible with the old site. Nor was it possible for visitors to share material through social media. With the growth of smartphones and tablets, Ticino Turismo wanted to optimize content for mobile devices, while maintaining a common content platform to avoid work duplication and make content authoring and editing more efficient.
The existing site already supported multiple languages and it was important that this support should continue in the new implementation. However, the previous site had an unappealing and overcrowded user interface, with too much information that confused navigation. Ticino.ch solved this problem with a more user-friendly and appealing interface that complied with current web standards and offered clear navigation and categorization of content.
The new system needed to provide built-in support for web standards, accessibility, multi-language content and multi-site administration
Ticino Turismo turned to Tinext, its technology partner since 1997, to find a solution. After a detailed evaluation, Tinext realized that the client’s requirements would be best met by a scalable, open source enterprise-grade platform that also provided an open API for custom development. With more than 15 years of experience in the field and many Magnolia projects under their belt, Tinext had zero hesitation in recommending Magnolia for this project.
The Magnolia Standard Templating Kit (STK) made it easy for Tinext to design a new interface for the portal to make it more attractive for users and partners.
Developers also created a set of custom paragraphs and templates to allow partners to easily edit existing information in the database and create their own custom content. Finally, Magnolia's support for custom business logic was useful in integrating third-party social network feeds with the existing site content.
The new implementation created a brand-new user interface, with a homepage that is dynamically populated with different content depending on the user’s current geographical location and language selection. Research showed that hikers in the Ticino region could be subdivided into three macro-categories: residents, day-tourists and medium-to-long distance tourists. By identifying these personas, ticino info was able to direct personalized home pages to its different visitors to provide them with relevant information and a navigational experience tailored to their needs.
Ticino.ch data can now also be augmented with social network feeds. For example, thanks to an additional piece of Magnolia customization performed by Tinext, Twitter feeds, YouTube videos and flickr photo galleries can be easily integrated into ticino.ch’s content with just a few clicks. This allows event organizers to add a continuous stream of news about the event to an event listing, or hotel and restaurant owners to enhance their online profiles with real customer reviews and feedback.
Ticino.ch now offers a complete multichannel experience to visitors, thanks to an integration with Sketchin’s innovative HikeTicino app and the roll-out of a complete multi-channel experience. The hiking trail network has been mapped with Google Street View Trekker™ and photographed by drones to offer hikers an emotional expectation of the routes to be discovered.
Visitors can find out about Ticino across multiple media, including a tablet available in tourist offices and interactive display kiosks around town and on hiking trails. Using a screen interface, the kiosks display the local trails, the weather forecast and photos submitted by other users in a targeted way and as part of an animated sequence.
Magnolia allows us to offer personalized experiences to our users, and the integration of social network tools gives us the opportunity to merge structured and editorial content. The current website speaks directly to current and prospective tourists, providing the information they need in an appealing new multichannel experience.
The new ticino.ch web portal fully addresses the goals of data personalization, social media integration and multi-channel distribution. It provides local partners, including tourist boards, with an easy-to-use and powerful tool for managing their online communication and promotion. The new system has also helped Ticino Turismo gain greater goodwill from local tourist boards and hotel associations, who now have the autonomy to create customized promotions while leveraging their excellent database of resources and events. The introduction of interactive multi-channel content has also allowed Ticino Turismo to offer targeted communications with users to meet their needs and engage them with Ticino.
Magnolia has earned deservedly high marks for extensibility and integration potential. Few systems can claim to be as open or as amenable to custom app development.