Tourism Australia has launched the first iteration of the new as part of a major digital transformation program, aimed at inspiring more people to plan and book Australian travel experiences. This new site marks the beginning of TA’s digital transformation.

The culmination of more than 18-months’ work, the site is designed, developed and executed by creative technology agency DT, part of STW. It has a range of innovative features, agile publishing capabilities, personalisation strategies and best-practice user experience, reflecting a new digital vision for the leading tourism organisation.

It also incorporates a new crowdsourced, time-lapse creative feature on the homepage showcasing the best of Australia, entitled ‘Chase the Sun’.

DT Partner and strategy chief Tim Evans said that through simple, timeless design principles, and tools to create engagement and personalisation, the new look is a fully-responsive site available on all devices in 11 languages, suitable for multiple markets.

“Today, the connected traveller is seeking both inspiration and information from a single, authentic source. We found that the majority of our audience was turning online before they’ve decided where, or how they’ll travel. And as the needs of the new traveller have changed, so too did,” he explained.

“The result is a site for both travellers and operators to connect, share stories, discover inspiration, find information, and take the next step in planning Australian travel experiences.”

To develop the strategic approach, DT worked with TA for more than six months to define the vision and develop the model. Research was then undertaken in conjunction with TNS to gain a deep understanding of the habits of travellers in both Western and Eastern markets, and how they seek travel information online.

Nuances of various regions were then identified and utilised in the personalisation strategy used in the development of the site, along with the unique ‘Chase the Sun’ creative platform to generate user content. A team of talented local photographers captured a time-lapse of the sun rising in various sites across Australia to develop a unique, interactive film, which opens the homepage. Inviting travellers to explore some of Australia’s most exciting destinations, it creates not just a visual engagement tool but also an ongoing platform to crowdsource portraits of Australia.

Rapthi Thanapalasingam, Head of Digital at Tourism Australia, said of the approach: “The new couldn’t just be a tweak of the current site – it had to be a completely new experience. And to succeed, we wanted to benchmark ourselves beyond the tourism category. This entirely new site needed to respond to the major trends that were changing our world – big content, data, collaboration and co-creation.

Brian Vella, CEO of DT, said the agency are “really proud of the platform and extremely excited about its future”.

“The new site is the first iteration of our vision to provide the best view of Australia to the world. We’ve worked together to install an elegant technology stack, and designed agile publishing workflows that span the globe. It’s a fantastic achievement, and really sets us up for future success.”

DT will continue to work with TA on its digital transformation by re-platforming the organisation’s owned assets onto the Adobe Platform.

Video content

Agency – DT
•    Strategy – Tim Evans (DT Partner)
•    Technology – Tom Beeby (DT Partner), James Rintoul (Tech Lead)
•    Management – Aditi Naik (GAD), Brian Vella (CEO)
•    Project — Luke Evans (Project Director), Amanda Jacobs (Account Director)
•    Experience Design — Jason Massarotto (Director), Richard Davy (Associate Director)
•    Art Direction — Thierry Guerchet (Senior Art Director)
•    Data & Analytics – Leon Bombotas (Director)
•    Content – Gordon McNenney (Director)

•    Rapthi Thanapalasingam, Head of Digital
•    Dave Rumsey, Chief Information Officer
•    John MacKenney, Chief Financial Officer