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State-of-the-art technology at the heart of new visitor servicing approach

By February 14, 2017February 23rd, 2017Industry News & Updates, What's new from the MRBTA?

The doors have opened at a brand new visitor centre in the heart of the redeveloped Busselton Foreshore, marking a fundamental transformation in the way visitors to the Margaret River region are serviced.

Co-located with the historical Ballarat Engine and a new interpretive centre telling the story of Busselton’s famous Jetty and its timber industry, the centre is equipped with large interactive touchscreens and virtual reality content.

By simulating a realistic interpretation of experiences and attractions from Busselton to Augusta, the technology will inform visitors about the diverse range of experiences on offer and will help disperse them right throughout the region.

The innovative layout of the centre removes the barriers of the traditional service counters and enables MRBTA’s expert consultants to interact with visitors on the floor via the technology, increasing their ability to inspire holidaymakers to explore far and wide.

From Monday 20 February, visitors will also be able to access a major new update of the Your Margaret River Region app. The latest version of the app features over 1,000 things to do and service points located throughout the region, which are displayed in relation to the location of the device user. Available online and offline for both Apple and Android devices, the app also features an audio tour of the Busselton Jetty.

MRBTA CEO Pip Close enthused about the new possibilities on offer for visitors.

“We are incredibly excited to open this new visitor centre in such an iconic location at the gateway to the Margaret River region.”

“The new visitor centre is the culmination of over 12 months’ work and the technology on offer will have a long-term effect on our ability to encourage visitors to experience a diverse range of MRBTA member product, stay longer in the region and ultimately increase the amount they spend here.”

“These latest developments are in response to growing demand for comprehensive and sophisticated visitor information via digital platforms. Our recent statistics paint this picture very clearly; we now service 542,000 people per year through the region’s four visitor centres, and over 700,000 visitors per year via our digital channels – which include our website, live web chat, email and the Your Margaret River Region app.”

The funding of the new visitor centre has been made possible through the Regional Visitor Centre Sustainability Grant Program, a State Government initiative, funded through Royalties for Regions and supported by Tourism Western Australia. The program will see $4.2 million over three years distributed to regional visitor centres to help make them more sustainable.

What this means for MRBTA members

This first edition of the technology (we nickname version 1.0) has been rolled out at the Busselton and Margaret River Visitor Centres to gain insight as to how visitors and visitor centre staff engage and interact with the new services. These insights will help to shape future developments of the software.

Alongside the 360 degree content, we are also in the process of adding a full regional map to the touchscreens, which will feature all MRBTA member businesses.

MRBTA members will soon have the opportunity to buy into content showcasing their business. Check your member newsletter for details of prices and the sign up process.