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Public Administration News  
Online Booking Tool for Tourism Launched in Australia
Source: futuregov.asia
Source Date: Monday, July 22, 2013
Focus: Citizen Engagement, Internet Governance
Country: Australia
Created: Jul 24, 2013

The Australian Government launched an online widget to help tourism operators offer online booking and payment options to customers.


Tourism businesses such as hotels or tour operators can install the Australian Tourism Booking Widget on their websites or Facebook pages to offer a basic system providing real-time booking, payment, and helpdesk options.


The government launched this tool to help the tourism industry capitalise on the visits to their websites by providing an easily accessible booking and payment facility.


“The challenge for the Australian tourism sector is converting potential visitor interest into a booking”, said Gary Gray, Tourism Minister. “This Widget aims to fix this by getting more of our tourism operators online for bookings and payments – and help them grow their businesses, particularly in regional areas where online facilities may be the only channel for operators to directly engage with their customers”.


The government invested AU$500,000 with the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (the central storage and distribution facility for tourism information from all Australian States and Territories) for the development of this tool. “The initiative is part of the Tourism 2020 strategy to increase tourism expenditure from AU$70 billion (US$64.5 billion) to AU$140 billion (US$129 billion) by the end of the decade”, said Gray.


Research has shown that more than 50 per cent of tourists globally use digital channels to plan and book holidays. While 84 per cent of Australia’s tourism operators are online, only a third of these offer real-time booking and payment online.


Business owners can use the government tool to launch a basic system, and explore the deployment of more sophisticated solutions in the future.


Tourism operators can download the tool by registering online and integrating the widget with their website code.

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