Open source developer wins e-commerce tender for Nth Queensland tourism

Web site visitors stay five times longer

As part of a complete overhaul of one of its most popular tourism Web sites, the Queensland government has adopted an open source content management system (CMS) for a new Web portal and e-commerce project.

Since the project was completed and portal re-launch in March, 2007, visitors to the site, www.tropicalaustralia.com.au, stay five times longer than before.

Australian-owned open source developer, Squiz, won the contract to build the Web site for Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) which covers Cairns, Port Douglas, the Daintree and Cape Tribulation as well as Cape York Peninsula and Mission Beach.

To undertake a complete overhaul of the site to market to the 2.4 million-plus visitors that go to the region each year, Squiz implemented MySource Matrix CMS.

The project also involved a complete re-architecture of the Web site as well as customised development.

The government tender specifically called for the ability to integrate with external databases, particularly the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) and also provide an e-commerce facility for the V3 booking system, which accepts reservations for accommodation, tours and attractions.

This is in addition to online membership facilities and compatibility with the Sugar Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.

In fact, a second install of MySource Matrix is currently underway for TTNQ's corporate and Intranet Web sites.

TTNQ needed a site capable of handling thousands of daily page views. In the past year, domestic visitors alone have increased 26 percent to 1.575 million.

TTNQ's online tourism consultant, Angus Sprott, said Squiz has been integral to the portal relaunch and e-commerce project.

"By enabling us to deliver dynamic, personalised services and travel solutions to both domestic and global markets, Squiz has helped us convert our Web presence into a major competitive advantage," Sprott said.

There has also been a steady increase in numbers since the relaunch with a dramatic increase in visitor interaction.

"The result is a richer user experience, a deeper understanding of what's on offer in the tropical north, and greater commercial opportunity," he said.

Other recent Squiz projects include the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO), Austereo, Homesite and National ICT Australia (NICTA).

Squiz is about to open an office in Brisbane to add to its existing locations in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart, Wellington and London.

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