Embracing technology to support the visitor economy

Richard Tenser

It’s no secret that small to medium businesses (SMBs) in Australia have taken a massive financial hit in the last 18 months, and few industries have been as heavily affected as tourism. Recent figures published by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission indicate that the visitor economy has suffered a loss of $67 billion, falling 49% between 2019 and 2020.


How tourism affects Australia’s economic recovery

The impact on tourism carries greater magnitude because for every dollar earned by the visitor economy, 82 cents is contributed to other industries in Australia, a larger contribution than mining, agriculture and financial services. Put simply – more of the money stays within Australia!


Technology’s role in supporting the visitor economy

Technology has become a critical part of the sales process for SMBs, and COVID-19 has only accelerated the need for tourism operators to sell online through online marketplaces, online travel agencies (OTAs) and their own booking management system. 

Online marketplaces and OTAs exist to allow consumers to find sellers (like any marketplace) and they allow SMBs to sell to potential consumers whom they otherwise may not have reached directly. Where it can be difficult, is that most OTAs charge commission or listing fees which eat into profit margins, this is especially challenging for small operators as they typically get charged higher rates than large operators. Cash flow is another important factor with some 3rd parties taking months to pay invoices.

Further reading: How much commission should you be paying to 3rd parties?

The solution for some may be to encourage direct sales, however that is reliant on the operator generating enough traffic through their own avenues and their system being capable of providing a high-quality user experience.


How some tourism operators are embracing technology

There are some tourism operators embracing technology to improve their sales through 3rd party and direct channels. Through our work with the South Australia Tourism Commission (SATC), we’ve been speaking with tourism operators who are maximising online opportunities using a Nabooki-powered online marketplace where 100% of booking revenue stays with the operator. 

Beyond the obvious improved profit margins, this model also empowers the operator to incentivise the consumer to purchase by offering a better price than they would find through other marketplaces and OTAs.

Want to find out more about Nabooki-powered online marketplaces? Click here to complete our enquiry form and we’ll be in touch.


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