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Free wonder widget enables online tourism bookings

July 23, 2013 Headline News, Technology No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59The Australian Government, in partnership with Tourism Australia, the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) and technical provider V3, have launched the Australian Tourism Booking Widget.

The widget, launched by Tourism Minister Gary Gray in Tasmania last week, is aimed at small and medium-sized tourism operators looking for an entry-level tool to make their product bookable online through their websites.

The booking widget software is available free of charge and enables tourism operators to offer instant booking and payment capability, to convert consumer interest on their websites.Mystic-Place-Bangkok-www.mysticbangkokhotel

The booking widget suits sectors in the industry including tours, events, attractions and accommodation businesses, according to an issued statement.

ATDW chief executive Liz Ward said that more than half of the world’s consumers used digital channels to research, plan and book holidays, and the proportion was expected to grow significantly over the next decade.

“Bearing this in mind, there is evidence that more than 90% per cent of Australia’s tourism operators have an online presence, less than half have online booking and payment facilities on their websites.

“In order to readily capitalise on visitation to their websites and facilitate more conversions from browsing to bookings, it is important to encourage and improve the booking and transactional capacity of tourism operators and ultimately help them to grow their businesses.”

The whole package includes: a booking widget for real-time bookings and payment, a supplier portal for operators to manage their inventory, bookings and widget settings and an easy-to-download Facebook booking app to capture live bookings from Facebook business pages, and access to customer support.

“The free downloadable Facebook application is a further conversion option for those tourism operators that have a Facebook page,” Ward said.

“A “book now’ button will allow consumers to book directly through the operators’ Facebook pages and act as an additional solution to operators becoming booking enabled.”

Although available to any Australian tourism business, the ATBW is specifically designed for those Small to Medium Enterprises (SME) in the Australian tourism industry that do not already have online booking capabilities.

“The booking widget is not a replacement for commercially available booking and payment systems, but offers a first step solution to help operators overcome their hesitation to invest in booking technologies by providing a basic, entry-level tool that is easy to install and use,” Ward said.

“The ultimate intention is that this initiative will set operators on their way to exploring more sophisticated booking and payment solutions and distribution strategies for their businesses in the future.”

To learn more, or make use of the widget visit www.bookingwidget.com.au

Edited by : Peter Needham

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