ATDW opening ‘digital doors’ for the Tourism Industry!

The team at ATDW has evolved its technology platform to make the national tourism database easier than ever to access so that entrepreneurs can innovate new ways to publish the high quality content.

“ATDW is the only nation-wide tourism database of its kind in Australia and the world, and has proved to be a valuable platform to help tourism operators across Australia to reach more consumers through the ATDW distribution network and generate more leads to their business. However, in order to make our database more user friendly and accessible, the team recently deployed a high performance, geo-spacial searching capability – ATLAS (Australian Tourism Location Aware Service)”, continued Ward.

The newly launched web service, ATLAS offers distributors enhanced performance through speed and richer search functionality, enabling websites with multi lingual map searching and advanced data filtering. With full text search, word stemming and a RESTful interface to allow for easy integration, ATLAS provides distributors with better control over the publishing of the ATDW dataset. Already three new distributors have integrated the ATLAS web service.

Besides the ATLAS web service, the ATDW has rolled out multiple new and exciting products over the last quarter including our new ATDW corporate website, which incorporates the Distribution Centre, Australian Tourism Booking Widget page and E-Kit microsites.

Having only gone live in July, the Distribution Centre website has already enabled 13 new distributor registrations which automatically offers them a 30 day free trial period allowing them to test the content and web service. The total number of distributors using ATDW content is currently standing at 131 including our first two international distributors (Triptide and Global Grapevide – both from the UK) who have recently joined.

To further enhance the online booking capability of Australian tourism businesses, an Online Booking Widget was developed specifically to provide small and medium sized tourism operators (including tours, events, attractions and accommodation businesses) with a simple, easy solution to provide online booking through their websites. Free of charge, the Booking Widget software enables operators to offer instant booking and payments to convert consumer interest on their websites.

Significant enhancements have been made to the Tourism e kit, (ATDW’s online tourism educational tool), resulting in the e kit now offering a valuable framework for accredited and licensed e kit trainers to be able to deliver formal training services using the e kit content and associated training resources. The new developments provide appropriately experienced and skilled trainers with formal training resource material aligning key Tourism e kit content with Units of Competency in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system. This in turn allows students, be they industry members or young people entering the industry, to gain formal qualifications and valuable, practical online distribution skills.

Forming part of the enhancements, the new dedicated Tourism e kit website can now be used by operators to find out what training is available, register and pay for sessions that are of interest and see profiles of trainers who are accredited and licensed by ATDW. They can also use the site to keep up to date with online trends and provide feedback through forums and blogs, learning from the experience of other operators and trainers.

The Australian Tourism Digital Distribution Community, an online group was recently launched on the LinkedIn professional social media platform. This online group provides a community for likeminded tourism professionals to discuss, share, engage and learn about the digital tourism marketplace. Following the launch of the group, membership has grown rapidly in just a few months, with now over 500 members and engagement is high with many conversations daily.

“These new products were all proudly developed by the ATDW team and we are confident that they will assist the Australian industry, Government and ATDW to better achieve our objectives to grow distribution. They will also drive efficiencies in our distributor connection processes”, said Ward.

“With a distribution network of over 150 websites and mobile applications publishing ATDW content tourism products listed in ATDW have been seen over 50 million times by consumers this year alone! These are conservative numbers as not all distributor pages can be tracked, such as Google Maps,” commented Ward.

In line with ATDW’s strategy, the content platform has increased to over 34,000 quality checked tourism products, an increase of 28% over last year! The addition of three new categories including Journey’s, Events and Restaurants has all contributed to this healthy growth in ATDW’s content offering.

Earlier this year the ATDW partnered with hospitality agency de Groots Media, to add over 6,500 high quality up-to-date restaurant listings and dining information to ATDW’s national tourism database. “This new third party content partnership was a first for ATDW, in a step to extend and diversify the database to create more value to the distribution network,” said Ward.

A further content improvement involved the recently completed China translation project which resulted in all accommodation, product and experience information – a total of 23,000 products (over 4 million words) having been translated into simplified and traditional Chinese. “The Chinese Translation Project enables all of ATDW’s listed products to be exposed to the growing inbound market on Tourism Australia’s website that targets the Chinese consumer. The translated content will also be available for publication by ATDW’s entire distribution network, including state and regional tourism organisations”, commented Ward.

Further examples of content growth and improvements include the T-QUAL enabled ATDW records which enjoyed a healthy increase of 35% to 4,986 listings. ATDW listings in Social Media links Facebook and Twitter have grown by an incredible 99% this last year to 6,200 listings and YouTube by 54% to 1,300 listings. Likewise, the number of event listings has grown by 20% to over 4,000 and the number of large images now available have increased by 120% to 124,000 images!

“Despite all the innovation and progress, ATDW’s strategy and core reason for being remains constant … to deliver first class content, technology and supporting tools that ensure Australian tourism is a world leader in online business and in doing so, support the Australian tourism industry to grow” concluded Ward.

~ END ~

For further information or images, contact Antoinette Lloyd, Communications & Marketing, ATDW

About the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW)

The Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) is proudly owned by Tourism Australia and all the State and Territory government tourism organisations. ATDW was established in 2001 to provide the tourism industry with a national content standard and to create a comprehensive, high quality database of Australian tourism product and destination content. ATDW is made up of over 30,000 tourism listings and is available to licensed distributors to publish on web sites or other distribution channels. For more information on ATDW visit www.atdw.com.au.