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Cheerful young man takes a picture using a mobile phone of the Twelve Apostles sea rocks on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria's state of Australia.

Tourism Australia gears for growth with intelligent analytics platform

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Australia welcomed 9.5 milllion International visitors contributed approximatetly  $45.4 billion to Australia’s economy.

We’ve not had a typical year for a while, but Tourism Australia is gearing up for the next normal.

Tourism Australia is the Australian Government agency responsible for attracting international visitors to Australia, both for leisure and business. Active in 15 key markets Tourism Australia has also returned to domestic tourism marketing to support the industry as it navigates its way back from the pandemic.

To understand where to deploy its resources most effectively, Tourism Australia needs a good grasp of accurate and up-to-the-minute data – who’s heading our way, when will they arrive, what will they want to do, where will they want to go?

The organisation’s research and strategy team regularly fielded these sorts of questions – tying up many hours and valuable resources as people turned their hand to extracting the right data from the right sources.

More than ten different data sources, many using different formats, had to be scoured manually in order to respond to a request.

Now, an intelligent data and analytics platform has been built and deployed allowing self-serve analytics for many of the agency’s ad hoc requests – freeing the research and strategy team for more value adding strategically focussed work.

Microsoft Gold Partner Agile Analytics built the Azure based platform, providing Tourism Australia staff and executives with fingertip access to data regarding traveller sentiment and demand.   The system was five months in development, and started to be rolled out in May 2021, with the full system deployed by July.

Tourism Australia has always had a good, but diverse, set of data to draw from.  During the pandemic the demand for data expanded dramatically. Our decision makers, and those in our industry, wanted relevant, accurate, and timely data to help them weave a path through this chaotic moment.  

“Agile helped us combine and organise our data in a way that it could be used by all our diverse set of stakeholders from our expert data analysts to our board, and to decision makers who rarely delve into the world of data.  As a result, we’re making better, faster, and sounder, data led decisions across all parts of the organisation.” Robert Dougan, Executive General Manager, Strategy and Research, Tourism Australia

Tourism Australia has been able to use insights gleaned from the mass of information to help with strategic planning, most recently during State and Territory border reopenings, and to direct marketing investment as Australia’s international borders opened for travellers.

Built on Microsoft Azure, the platform leverages Azure Synapse Analytics, Azure Data Factory, and Azure SQL with insights about bookings, searches, flights and visitor surveys delivered through Power BI reports.

It’s saving the team time and providing streamlined access to data needed to make strategic decisions to help Australia’s tourism sector return to full strength.

Iman Eftekhari, Director and Founder of Agile Analytics, says; “The Tourism industry is in a great period of change.  Organisations that utilise data-led decision making will come out on top.  Tourism Australia has taken a big leap forward on this journey enabled by key Microsoft technologies such Azure Synapse, Azure SQL, Azure Data Factory and Power BI.  I’m glad Agile Analytics could form a strategic partnership with Tourism Australia and assist in this journey.”

Tourism Australia plans to extend its analytics capability by bringing in additional data sources, as well as external information, to build an increasingly comprehensive understanding of how to best support one of Australia’s most important economic sectors.