In order to help operators of tours for providing payment options and online bookings for customers, the government of Australia introduced an online widget. Australian Tourism Booking Widget can be installed by tourism businesses like tour operators or hotels on their Facebook pages or websites to provide real-time payment, booking and help desk options. This initiative was taken by the government to help the industry of tourism.
Gary Gray, Tourism Minister, said that the main challenge for the tourism sector of Australia is to convert the interest of a potential visitor into a booking. He expressed that this online widget is useful for tour operators in the regional areas, where the online facilities are the only channel which are used by operators for direct engagement with customers. Government of Australia invested around AU$500,000 with the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse in order to develop this online tool. Gary said that this initiative was part of the strategy Tourism 2020 that includes increase of tourism expenditure from AU$70 billion to AU$140 billion.
According to many research reports, it had been revealed that tourists across the world use digital channels for planning and booking of holidays. Even though, 84% of Australian tour operators are online, only one-third of these operators offer a real-time payment and booking system. All the business owners can able to use this government tool towards launching of a basic system, which can be developed with sophisticated solutions in the coming future.
Tour operators have to register online to download this website and also integrate the code of their website.