Tourism Quebec approached Evolving Web to take on the complete rebuild of the province’s #1 tourism portal: BonjourQuébec.com. If you’ve ever looked for the best place to go dogsledding in Canada or were planning a trip go whale watching on the St-Lawrence River, you’ve definitely encountered this website. It integrates listings from hotels, tour-providers, campgrounds, and restaurants, and invites visitors to explore the regions and seasons of Quebec.
BonjourQuébec.com is the main public-facing window into the province’s rich touristic offerings. Its audience comprises potential tourists from local and international markets looking for information about travelling to and within Quebec. The platform aggregates data from a large number of tourism partners, such as lodging establishments, activity providers, restaurants and bars and regional associations.
The purpose of this redesign was, first and foremost, to improve the end-user experience to better showcase the province’s wealth of tourism opportunities and provide useful tools to help visitors get the most out of their trip. Surfacing relevant, up-to-date information at the right time to optimize content search and discovery was also a priority.
In addition to providing public information via its portal, Tourism Québec oversees a network of 240 physical locations across the province where staff offer documentation and assistance to visitors, with the ability to access more data than the general public. They were looking for the redesign to centralize that data within a restricted section of the site for use by Tourism Quebec staff.
With the emergence of a global pandemic and its ensuing travel restrictions, the BonjourQuébec.com platform has become even more vital for the province’s tourism providers. Restaurateurs, entertainment venues, tour operators and hospitality establishments need a strong, unified digital presence that enables them to connect with new, often more local audiences in innovative ways.
Redesigning the Bonjour Québec website had its share of intricacies, including:
- A highly complex information architecture comprising more than 30 distinct content types
- Content editors required a great deal of flexibility for data entry
- The cutting-edge visual design of the site, created by partner agency LG2, introduced a host of development complexities
- A large number of animations presented significant challenges on the accessibility front
- The need to centralize data from a multitude of APIs and deliver it seamlessly throughout the platform
Evolving Web held a dual role in this large-scale project. In addition to leading the development work and migrating the original site from Drupal 7 to Drupal 8, we performed extensive functional analysis for key features such as the interactive trip planner.
Key features of the completed site include:
- Custom, fully searchable interactive map system integrating data from numerous API sources
- Full integration of rich, up-to-date data from various API sources, such as the province’s alliance of tourism establishments and different provider associations (golf courses, hotels, restaurateurs, etc.)
- Powerful custom search engine
- An interactive trip planner that offers powerful features to the public, including a drag-and-drop itinerary builder, custom calendars, and personalized maps
- Permissions-based access allows tourism operators to log in and access privileged information on the platform
- Chatbot implementation to assist visitors dynamically
- Full multilingual capabilities, including a complex fallback system that ensures relevant results even when an exact translation is unavailable
- Audience-based content prioritization showcases different activities and establishments to different visitors according to relevant market data
Drupal is the perfect fit for this type of large-scale, complex platform, which needs to be able to pull data from a broad range of source APIs. Its drag-and-drop content editing interface gives Tourism Quebec staff the ability to create, publish, and edit content quickly and easily, despite the site containing more than 30 different content types. Drupal’s superior handling of translated content was another clear fit for the platform, which targets a multilingual audience from around the world.
Find out more about why we use Drupal.
The final website shines a bright light on the diversity of Quebec’s tourism landscape and makes finding and discovering relevant, practical information easy—and enjoyable—for end users. It has the ability to deliver contextually relevant content to visitors of all types, from residents looking for their next day trip to international travellers in search of adventure (or leisure) in the province. The platform allows users to interact with the content via features such as fully customizable mapping and a drag-and-drop itinerary planner, which were designed for maximum user-friendliness despite their underlying technical complexity.
For Tourism Quebec and its partner associations, the ability to aggregate and serve data from such a large number of API sources ensures the accuracy and timeliness of all content. Content editors now have tools that allow them to publish a wide variety of content according to their needs without requiring technical assistance. Establishments gain better representation, and Tourism Quebec operators are able to better respond to visitor inquiries by accessing a centralized repository of reliable, up-to-date information.