Tuesday 27 June 2006

Mr Finch - Could I ask a question relating to what you have just been talking about. You talked about people using online to access their holidays, and I understand that. Hopefully, we are not jumping the gun too far and doing away with Melbourne and Sydney when there are still elements of the market who like to use that face-to-face contact. But as you say, if we pick it up through other allegiances or alliances, that is fair enough.

When people want to access us online, what address do they use? Is it discovertasmania.com.au? If someone punches in 'Tasmania', what do they get? Do they get tourism assistance? Do they get help? What comes up? How easy is it to get that route through your technology to come to Tasmania for a holiday?

Ms WRIEDT - I will get Felicia to give you some more detail on that. One of the things that does concern me - and I know Felicia shares this concern - is that we have too many websites within Tourism Tasmania, and we are looking at rationalising those. In the past we have had a tendency to have different website addresses for different programs that we have run, such as the short breaks campaign. There is also Discover Tasmania and so on. We are looking at rationalising those, upgrading the Discover Tasmania website but also enhancing our capacity so that when you do a Google search on 'Tasmania' you will find the Tourism Tasmania website. If you pay additional money, you can come up on the front page of a search. You can come up in 1 to 10 instead of coming up at No. 300. We have not capitalised on that in the past in the way we should. Felicia has started some work on that.

Ms MARIANI - Briefly, I think the minister has said the right thing in terms of the fact that we have too many avenues in. I have counted five or six different web addresses that you can use to access Tasmanian travel information. We want a single portal, which will be discovertasmania.com.au. When people come into that site they can then go off to the range of different places that we have separate URLs with. The search engine authorisation will be a big part of what we do, and we will actually be purchasing key word searches. This means that when you type in 'Tasmania' or 'wilderness' or 'bushwalking' or some other related word, we will come in very high up. I would love it to be the top five, but the top 10 would be great. Then we would at least be on the first page. That is the sort of stuff we are looking at to try to overcome some of the problems. We are performing extremely well and we are improving. Each time we get the reports from what is called 'Red Sheriff', where you find out how you are performing compared with other web sites, we find that we are improving our performance regularly. That is only to Discover Tasmania. If we took them all and put them together, our performance would be exponentially better because people are coming in at the moment from so many different avenues. That is a big part of what we are working on for the very near future.