Tourism NT boosts travel in the Territory with Microsoft Power Apps

From jet ski adventures and balloon rides to cultural tours and bush tucker dinners, Northern Territorians are being challenged to try something new in their home state.

$200 travel vouchers were up for grabs towards the experiences, as part of the Northern Territory Tourism Voucher scheme – a $16.2 million package designed to support the NT tourism industry.

“The scheme came about as a solution to the imminent problem, of how to continue to support and drive revenue to tourism operators when the Territory borders are closed” says Tony Quarmby, Executive Director, Marketing at Tourism NT. “The only viable market left to us was locals so we wanted to get them excited and purchasing local experiences and products to help tourism operators to stay open during a period when we had no traditional interstate or international visitors”.

Tourism NT was the first jurisdiction in Australia to design and launch the tourism voucher concept and all other states have followed their lead. Since July 2020, the travel vouchers have been released on a first come, first-served basis, but in a staggered fashion so as not to overwhelm the Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) that redeem the vouchers.

Cutting processing times down to 16 seconds

To encourage dispersal and spread the economic benefit into the regions during the second voucher release round, residents were offered a bonus $200 if their chosen experience involved traveling over 400 kilometres from their place of residence.

To processes the bonus voucher claims, the Tourism NT team needed to quickly develop a digital solution to streamline existing processes, which were becoming difficult to manage. Adam and the team estimated that it was taking 12 minutes just to process one bonus claim, and they knew that the process had to be improved before round three.

“As more and more bonus claims were completed, the time it was taking to processes them grew significantly” says Adam Boucher, Director of Marketing Solutions at Tourism NT. “The solution was built to meet the imminent challenge…fast. We needed a smarter way to handle bonus claims”.

“We worked with the Clade team to develop a streamlined bonus claim solution using Power Apps” says Adam. “We went from 12 minutes per application, to 16 seconds.”

“It had a huge impact in terms of resourcing and ensured the accuracy of the data that we were outputting.”

Image credit: Tourism NT

“We worked with the Clade team to develop a streamlined bonus claim solution using Power Apps. We went from 12 minutes per application, to 16 seconds.”

Adam Boucher, Director of Marketing Solutions at Tourism NT
Design iteration brings powerful results

When selecting a technology partner to deliver the bonus voucher claims solution, Tourism NT’s primary focus was to look locally. “As a government entity our focus is to support the growth and financial viability of local businesses, to help ensure they survive and thrive” says Tony.

With a local presence in the Northern Territory, Clade were contracted to deliver the solution and Adrian Launchbury, Dynamics 365 Practice Lead, came on board to lead the project.

“We wanted this to be an iterative, agile process and we worked very collaboratively with Adrian. He used Power Apps to build a prototype and then worked closely with our team to keep improving it, until we were at a point where it was ready to go live.”

“We have an amazing partnership with both Clade and Microsoft. Because of this, we were able to deliver quickly and meet our project objectives.”

Advancing innovation in the Northern Territory

Tourism NT’s ability to innovate quickly and reduce administrative burden with Power Apps is a great example of the agency leading the way in government tech innovation within the region.

“Living in the Territory, people are forced to innovate or seek a different approach. We have a small population, vast land mass, but have a real ‘can-do attitude’.
Speaking to innovation, I am really proud of the work that the team and our partners have achieved, to deliver a program that is the first of its kind in Australia.. .” says Adam.

The success of the bonus claims solution has also led to new Power Apps projects being kicked off in other areas, like industry development.

Lee Hickin, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Australia said; “Tourism has been one of the hardest hit sectors through the pandemic, but thanks to the efforts of Tourism NT many Northern Territory operators have continued to book business and receive guests, essentially keeping them in business in an unprecedented time.

“It’s humbling to see how our technology can play a small part in helping Tourism NT adapt to the pandemic. As a trusted and scalable digital platform, the Power Apps lowcode/nocode rapid development platform enabled Tourism NT to move quickly to meet the needs of Industry.”

About Tourism NT

Tourism NT is a Northern Territory Government statutory authority responsible for promoting the Northern Territory as a must-do, unique holiday destination.

Corporate: tourismnt.com.au
Visit Northern Territory: northernterritory.com

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