Regional tour operators across Australia have been given a much-needed shot in the arm, thanks to a couple of new online booking platforms.
BookitDoit claims to be the first and only booking platform to cover the whole of regional Australia, offering a categorised directory with filtered search and live mapping, live rates and direct bookings, plus itineraries and packages delivered along with a digital tour guide.
All regional operators connected with the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) are now listed on BookitDoit, with two months to claim and validate their listing (for free), to ensure contact details are displayed and ability for bookings, with a minimal 10 per cent commission fee.
Alternatively, a premium membership can be purchased for just $10 per week, ensuring priority listing, revolving ad space on BookitDoit’s home page, social listings, and their product highlighted in itineraries and including a digital tour guide, with a commission of 15 per cent for bookings.
Users of the site can easily locate a tour or attraction through searching by business name and location, with 12 activity categories to choose from across six states, two territories, 87 regions and 226 areas.
Once an operator’s listing is validated, they can then choose multiple categories that their product is aligned to.
BookitDoit was devised in late 2019 by Mark Ennor from the Mid North Coast of NSW, after his horse-riding business was forced to close due to the drought and bushfires.
“I love the ocean, but there is so much more to Australia than the coast … you never really appreciate the diversity and vastness of our great country until you head inland,” he said.
“BookitDoit will promote and support all regions in Australia, as travellers want to find all there is to do everywhere – not just in the tourist hotspots.
“With 2019 challenging the country with drought, fire and flood, followed by this year’s coronavirus outbreak, never before has local tourism needed the support and voice of its community.
“This is where we come in. If you’re a regional tour operator, this is an affordable and effective way of reaching your target markets.”
Visit Pacific Coast NSW is another online booking platform that has launched for regional tour operators just in time for the summer holidays.
An initiative of Pacific Coast Tourism that combines the strength of the ATDW with Tourism Exchange Australia’s booking functionality, Visit Pacific Coast provides an opportunity for accommodation providers, tour operators, tourism organisations, and event organisers in the NSW region to collaborate and drive visitation.
“We are tremendously excited to be supporting the recovery and growth of regional tourism in NSW,” said director Christopher Winn.
“There has been a tremendous response from industry, and many of our industries’ strongest and most unique operators have adopted this launch, connecting with us in anticipation.”
The intuitive web tool transfers all bookings directly and instantly to tourism businesses and is centred on a unique guest experience, with visitor information services lying at the heart of the project.
“It’s essential that we challenge the way we approach the concept of visitor information services,” Winn said.
“Visitors expect to be offered information with both relevance and context – that’s what we’ve done with this build.”