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One easy step to Online Booking Widgets

July 23, 2013 Technology No Comments Email Email

LAUNCHED by Minister of Tourism, the Hon Gary Gray AO, MP in Tasmania last week, the Australian Tourism Booking Widget (Booking Widget) is an initiative from the Australian Government and the Australia Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) to enhance the online booking capability of Australian tourism businesses.

The Booking Widget was developed specifically to provide small and medium sized tourism operators with a simple solution to provide online booking through their websites.  The Booking Widget software is available free of charge and enables tourism operators to offer instant booking and payments to convert consumer interest on their websites.

The Booking Widget is suited to an array of sectors in the industry including tours, events, attractions and accommodation businesses.

ATDW’s CEO, Liz Ward said: “More than half of the world’s consumers use digital channels to research, plan and book holidays and this is 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 web sites.”

“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,” continued Ward.

Designed to be simple to use and easy to implement, this solution encompasses: a Booking Widget for real time bookings and Payment Solution, 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.   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,” said Ward.

Although available to any Australian tourism business, the ATBW is specifically designed for Small to Medium Enterprises (SME) of 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.  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”, Ward concluded.

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

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