This opportunity is closed for applications

The deadline was Friday 24 November 2017
British Tourist Authority trading as Visit Britain & Visit England

BTA848/1 Discover England Platform Pilot

8 Incomplete applications

7 SME, 1 large

8 Completed applications

7 SME, 1 large

Important dates

Friday 10 November 2017
Deadline for asking questions
Friday 17 November 2017 at 11:59pm GMT
Closing date for applications
Friday 24 November 2017 at 11:59pm GMT


Summary of the work
Visit Britain are looking for a partner to create an online platform that will be the backbone for all tourism providers across England.
Latest start date
Monday 8 January 2018
Expected contract length
3 - 24 months
No specific location, eg they can work remotely
Organisation the work is for
British Tourist Authority trading as Visit Britain & Visit England
Budget range

About the work

Why the work is being done
The main goal of Visit Britain is to attract more visitors and to increase their spend to contribute more to the economy. We are a small, focused, highly effective agency. We consistently ensure our activity really counts, exceeding targets set by Government, adding value to the English and British tourism industry and the English and British economy.
Problem to be solved
Create an online platform that will be the backbone for all tourism providers across England, promoting and distributing their services and products digitally aiming to:
- Increase total international visits to England by increasing the quality of tourism content available online including SME providers
- Dispersal of visitors beyond central London by increasing the % of tourism content discoverable online including itineraries created by Destination Marketeers
- Increase visitor spend through improving bookability of tourism through distributors, increasing the % of digital distribution
- Deliver a more cost effective tourism product distribution solution than individual efforts by suppliers & DMOs.
Who the users are and what they need to do
Supplier Content, Inventory & Channel Management/Itinerary Creation/Search and Itinerary Discovery/Booking/Payment and Finances/Ticketing and Fulfilment/Customer Service/Distribution APIs/
Consumer Web and Mobile Services/Reporting and Analytics/System Administration/Audit Trails
Early market engagement
Information is available upon request as it exceeds word count permitted here.
Any work that’s already been done
A Discovery Phase has been completed to determine the requirements of key stakeholder groups and to develop the business case.
Existing team
You will be working with the core Visit Britain team and the teams that have been successful in their Discover England Fund Bids.
Current phase

Work setup

Address where the work will take place
London, Manchester, Bristol
Working arrangements
You will be expected to work with the UK based team and teams in the regions both in person and remotely during the course of the project
Security clearance
BPSS (Baseline Personnel Security Standard)

Additional information

Additional terms and conditions

Skills and experience

Buyers will use the essential and nice-to-have skills and experience to help them evaluate suppliers’ technical competence.

Essential skills and experience
  • Experience designing, developing and operating travel distribution platforms at scale.
  • Experience in delivering Content Management solution.
  • Experience in delivering Search Solutions
  • Experience in delivering Travel Booking Solutions
  • Experience in delivering Travel Finance & Payment Solutions
  • Experience in delivering ticketing & fulfilment solutions
  • Experience in delivering Customer Service Solutions
  • Experience in delivering Travel Distribution APIs
  • Experience in delivering Reporting & Analytical Solutions
  • Experience in delivering Administration Solutions including User Rights Management & Audit Trails.
  • Experience in hosting Travel Distribution Solutions
Nice-to-have skills and experience
Experience in delivering Tourism Platforms in other countries / markets

How suppliers will be evaluated

How many suppliers to evaluate
Proposal criteria
  • Technical solution
  • Approach and methodology
  • How the solution meets user needs
  • How the solution meets Visit Britain's goal
  • Estimated timeframes for the work
  • Identification of risks and dependencies and approaches offered to manage them
Cultural fit criteria
  • Work as a team with our organisation
  • Take responsibility for their work
  • Share knowledge and experience
  • Can work with clients with low technical expertise
Payment approach
Fixed price
Assessment methods
Written proposal
Evaluation weighting

Technical competence


Cultural fit




Questions asked by suppliers

1. I've seen "BPSS (Baseline Personnel Security Standard)" as a requirement on a few Digital Marketplace opportunities. Since we've not directly worked with an organisation who needs this before we do not currently have this. Can you please advise how a supplier goes about getting this security clearance?
There are a number of companies that offer BPSS screening services. Typically these can be completed in 5-10 working days.
2. Given the project is primarily the development of a CMS / web application platform do you have any technical requirements (e.g. platform / software) or a list of requirements / user stories that you can make available?
The CMS is just one component of the overall solution. For this reason we have not specified the CMS requirements in detail. We would expect CMS functionality to be equivalent to an industry standard solution including the capability to upload, create and modify digital content for tourism products. Content will be managed by multiple users working in a collaborative environment
• Content Types
• Content Categories
• Tagging
• Geocoding
• Content Loading
• Content Management
• Publishing Workflow
3. After the deadline for applications of Friday 24th of November can you please advise what the next steps are (e.g. proposal, pitch interview, etc.)? Can you also give me an indication of approximate dates for these stages?
The next step will be a presentation from 3 shortlisted to take place w/c 18th December
4. Please can you provide information regarding your commercial model, whether this is intended to directly generate revenue for Visit Britain i.e. commission on transactions, advertising revenue etc.? Do you have a preferred content management system? Please can you provide details of any third-parties and APIs that we will need to integrate with? Are you looking to centrally serve a single basket for all transactions, and if so is there a particular platform you would like to use? What are you hoping to demonstrate and validate through the Alpha phase?
The intended commercial model is for VB to fund the platform through a nominal transaction fee. At this stage there is no preferred Content Management System.The platform is intended to connect with supplier systems including the SME market. There are a number of booking systems in the market and we are looking for a solution that will enable us to connect with these seamlessly. These include solutions such as Eviivo, Frontdesk, Guestlink, iHotelier, MyFidelio, Rezgo, RMS and many more. The platform is also intended to connect with global distribution partners. An OTA compliant API will be required (
5. What's driving the broad range in time frames - 3-24 months? Is the Alpha phase going to be open or closed?
The timeframes are intended to cover the Alpha and subsequent Beta phases of the project. Over this timeframe we will evaluate the platform and determine the long term solution.
6. Is there an incumbent supplier in place currently? If so, will they be applying also?
There is no incumbent supplier
7. You note "early market engagement" work has been undertaken, can you please advise how I can get access to this?
Early market engagement has enabled us to develop the proposition to key stakeholders:
• Supplier Proposition: generate incremental visibility and distribution for their travel related content, particularly for SMEs that have little experience in travel distribution or technology
• Distributor Proposition: provide a solution that allows them to recommend and sell complimentary value added packages based on itineraries generated by local experts and supported by data
• Destination Marketer Proposition: reduce infrastructural issues in the distribution landscape in the regions, allowing them to focus on marketing the best of their regions creating compelling end-to-end itineraries to attract international visitors
8. Please can you share the early engagement / Discovery work you have undertaken? If we are unable to have sight of the Discovery outputs, please can you clarify the activities undertaken during this phase? Is one of your goals to reduce the dependency on third-party intermediaries such as Please can you clarify the number of teams that have been successful in their Discover England Fund Bids and the extent to this current engagement / role?
The Discovery output outlines a Business to Business tourism distribution platform delivered at a national level that allows all tourism suppliers (particularly SMEs) to showcase their products and services, working through the existing distributors that dominate the marketplace to reach end consumers. The specific objectives are to:
• Increase total international visits to England by increasing the quality of tourism content available online
• Dispersal of visitors beyond central London by increasing the % of tourism content discoverable online
• Increase visitor spend through improving bookability of tourism product, increasing the % of digital distribution
9. Do you have any particular preference for a bespoke solution vs a SaaS product solution? e.g. how important is it to you to own the IPR or have a particularly customised workflow?
There is no preference for either.
10. Please can you advise what you anticipate to be included within the £250K budget? Will that be purely for the Alpha phase or Beta too? Does it need to include any license and hosting costs, etc?
Purely Alpha. This relates to the Software Components. It is anticipated additional budget is required for Systems Integration.
11. The Alpha payment approach is stated as "fixed price". Please explain from an Agile perspective how you would see the Alpha scope being managed to a fixed priced?
An initial scope should be estimated for the budget to develop the backlog. The backlog will then be prioritised through the agile delivery process (for example, sprint planning).
12. At the end of the alpha phase, are you expecting to have a product built that can be reused at the beta stage? For example, will there be code reuse between this phase and the subsequent beta stage, or is this project predominantly about clarifying user journeys, application flow and technical feasibility?
We would like to re-use the Alpha where possible, however it is anticipated that we will clarify user journeys, application flow and technologies which will inform the Beta phase.
13. Is there any visitor facing design/UX aspect to this project, or is it primary just the creation of the API to power future consumer/trade facing experiences
The primary focus is the creation of APIs to power the future consumer/trade facing experiences.