Tourism Australia has relaunched its popular global website, with a cleaner design, simpler navigation and additional functionality, aimed at helping international and domestic travellers better research, plan and make the most of an Australian holiday.
Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy believes the time is right for a refresh, with 50 per cent of global consumers now using digital channels to research, plan and book holidays.
“In the four years since we launched australia.com the site has more than tripled in size and language versions.
“In the UK alone the site receives up to 100,000 visits and more than 84,000 unique visitors each month,” Mr McEvoy said.
“The sites plays such a vital role in telling our story to the world and, as part of our broader strategy to raise our game in the digital space, we felt it was time for a refresh to keep us competitive and ahead of the game.
“With the changes we’ve made, you’ll see a website which is more attractive to the eye, stronger in functionality and easier to navigate with rich and engaging content which we believe will inform and inspire more people to look to Australia for their next holiday,” added McEvoy.
The changes to the site – designed and built by Deloitte - follow extensive customer testing and feedback sessions involving 300 consumers in six of Tourism Australia’s key international markets - China, Germany, Japan, South Korea, the UK and US.
Key elements of the new look www.australia.com site include:
Brighter look - new photography incorporated into the background of the site, which displays iconic images of every Australian state and territory, and which update each time the website is refreshed.
Easier to use - simplified navigation to access and showcase content more easily. A new ‘mega’ menu on the homepage allows users to quickly view what is in each area of the site, and reduce the amount of clicks required to get the specific information they want. Users can also easily scroll, carousel style, through a range of things to do and see in Australia.
Maps - a new mini map feature has been added to the homepage, highlighting some of the very best nothing like Australia experiences, as recommended by locals who have already travelled there.
Better integration with social media - social media icons are prominently displayed, allowing users to share content with their social networks, starting with Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Other platforms including Sina, Orkut, QQ, Delicious and Hyves will be added soon.
News - a new ‘News’ panel has been created, located prominently on the homepage, to direct users to latest updates. This includes video capabilities to showcase Tourism Australia’s increasing array of digital activities and campaigns.
Tailored content - the site’s 360 pages of content is available in 17 languages with additional tailored content by market to better reflect local preferences.
Mr McEvoy believes the internet and mobile technology has fundamentally changed tourism marketing. “Digital technology has changed the way consumers research, plan and book holidays,” he said.
“More than 29 per cent of the world’s population is online today and this number is expected to grow to five billion people, or 66 per cent by 2020, with one in two consumers using digital channels today to make their travel plans.
“These sorts of stats only serve to reinforce the importance of a good website, delivering rich, destination specific and appealing content in an engaging and user-friendly way which helps move the user further towards booking an Australian holiday,” he concluded.