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Travel, Meet Open Source

Filed Under: Drupal Rooms, Travel, ITALY

Open source is taking over in all sorts of different industries. But travel is still largely untouched territory. For a little while at least. 

This was perhaps the most important take-away from Bluespark’s first visit to World Travel Market in London earlier this month. 

We were there to promote our work in the travel space, most notably the newly redesigned ITALY Magazine and Roomify (aka Drupal Rooms), our online booking solution designed for hotels, B&Bs and vacation rentals. 

Many people we spoke with had not heard of Drupal or the term open source. In one information session, the presenter asked who in the room was familiar with the concept of open source software. About 10% of those present raised their hands.

Now, to some degree, we were prepared to do a little proselytizing. Despite Drupal’s powerful features, there aren't many travel-oriented sites built in Drupal, and very few hotels. We built Rooms because we saw an opportunity to fill a 'hole' in the open source ecosystems of contributed extensions (called modules in Drupal, plugins/widgets in WordPress), specifically around booking management. 

And it only took a minute or two for the business owners we spoke with — hoteliers, travel agents and aggregators — ​to understand the advantages: flexibility, cost-effectiveness and control over their own data. Not to mention access to the ongoing improvements which come from the input of developers around the world. Drupal — and Roomify — continues to evolve, and all users benefit from this.

And these are the users we’re interested in, who want solutions they can control and customize — two words you don’t see very often with proprietary products — and who want to do it cost-effectively, with no contracts or ongoing licensing fees. 

A few years ago, most organizations with heavy CMS needs would not have considered open-source solutions. Now Drupal is in the top 5 solutions they want to consider — we see it mentioned in pretty much every university RFP, for example. 

So, note to the travel industry: Drupal will be touching down soon. We’re happy to give you the tour.

Want to learn more about Roomify? Join our mailing list, watch our screencast. We look forward to hearing from you!

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