Tasmanian tourism to benefit from innovative project

18 December 2015

An innovative new research project will provide Tasmania's tourism industry with real-time sensor-generated data to ensure the continued growth of the state's world-class tourism offering.

Minister for Tourism and International Education, Senator Richard Colbeck, today launched the Sensing Tourist Travel project in Hobart and said it would provide the industry with important insights into travel behaviour in the state.

"The Australian Government has provided $500,000 for the Sensing Tourist Travel project which aims to help improve marketing and infrastructure investment decisions, identify emerging market trends and improve the visitor experience to Tasmania," Senator Colbeck said.

"Tasmania's tourism industry is performing exceptionally well under the Coalition Government and experienced a 19 per cent increase of international tourists in the year ending September 2015.

"This project will identify ways for the industry to capitalise on this record growth in visitor numbers and position Tasmania as a world class tourism destination.

Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, said data from the app will provide the Tasmanian tourist industry with powerful research into how to better anticipate and cater for the needs of tourists.

"The Sensing Tourist Travel project is one of 14 projects sharing in more than $13 million of funding through the Sense-T Stage 2 project that will support the use of sensor technology and data analysis to solve industry problems to help the Tasmanian economy," Mr McCormack said.

"Once completed, the Sense-T Stage 2 project will be able to deliver commercial solutions that will help industries be more competitive, efficient and sustainable.

"It will also create an advanced sensor manufacturing capability in Tasmania and enable the undertaking of leading-edge research in sensor technology and data science to support industry innovation."

The project will specifically target interstate and Chinese independent tourists who are spending a minimum of one week in Tasmania. Six hundred visitors to the state will be recruited and tracked via a bespoke app that will be loaded onto a mobile phone handset provided to each tourist.

The initial survey will establish the tourist's socio-demographic status, knowledge of Tasmania, and cultural background. A second survey will be conducted in the middle of their trip, focussing on their use of social media and spontaneous decisions that may affect their trip. At the end of the trip, the app will ask a small number of questions regarding their travel behaviour and experiences.

The Sense-T Stage 2 project is divided into four packages with each package allocated a portion of the $13 million. This funding is part of the $106 million committed under the Tasmanian Jobs and Growth Package to build a stronger economy. The Sense-T Sensing Tourist Travel Industry Research project currently involves ten staff.

Sense-T Stage 2 is a jointly funded project with the Australian Government committing $13 million, the University of Tasmania $950,000 and National ICT Australia $1 million. It commenced in September 2014 and is scheduled for completion in March 2017.

181215 Colbeck McCormack - Sense T announcement
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