Introducing changes and improvements to your membership

 

As we approach the new membership year there is good news for member businesses looking to drive more traffic to their own websites. In 2019/20, two important improvements will be rolled out for the benefit of members:

  1. Redesign of your business listing page at margaretriver.com to feature a highly prominent link to any chosen URL.
  2. A new custom-designed, user-friendly backend console where you will be able to enter your business description and images (Bookeasy will no longer be used for this purpose).

This new approach marks a significant change in the way that margaretriver.com assists visitors in their travel planning, as visitors will be intentionally directed away from margaretriver.com to discover more about individual experiences via members’ own websites.

Why send visitors away
from margaretriver.com?

The change in focus is being made in response to the needs of our members and our visitors.
During a series of focus groups with member businesses during May 2019, the overwhelming majority of members said they felt that these changes would benefit their business. With regards to visitor booking preferences, visitors are choosing to book via the large OTAs (online travel agents) or to book directly with operators.

How will member businesses benefit?

Traditionally non-bookable experiences (e.g. wineries, attractions, gourmet produce)

Your business has been busy maximising every opportunity to interact with customers online.

If you’re one of these businesses, you see your website as your online ‘home’ where you tell your story and allow visitors to get to know your brand. You may have launched an online store, or perhaps you’re reaping the rewards of developing the offering of your online wine or loyalty club. You may be toying with the idea of embarking on offering bookable experiences such as workshops, behind the scenes experiences or guided tastings. And you’re certainly taking advantage of all that social media marketing has to offer.

Your redesigned listing page at margaretriver.com will offer the following benefits:

  • Prominent link means more visits to your website from margaretriver.com
  • Send visitors directly from margaretriver.com to anywhere you choose on your own website or social media channels
  • Greater opportunity to own your customers’ journey from the beginning
  • Greater opportunity for brand interaction
  • Greater opportunity for tailored calls to action
  • Easier and more efficient uploading of images and business descriptions via the new console
  • Increased SEO at your own website (there is a strong correlation between quality inbound links and search performance of your website)
  • More cost-effective referral than Google Ads, and other advertising mediums
  • Measure your website hits for increased transparency around what you get from your MRBTA membership

Image right: Example of a best practice directory listing at urbanlist.com. The new margaretriver.com design will be launched in October 2019.

Bookable experiences (accommodation and tours)

Your business is trying to keep apace with the rapidly changing booking landscape.

If you’re one of these businesses, you’ve noticed how the large OTAs (online travel agents) are becoming increasingly dominant, and while you rely heavily on these bookings, you would also like to increase the proportion of direct bookings that you secure.

Your redesigned business listing page at margaretriver.com will offer the following benefits:

  • More direct bookings. No commission paid to MRBTA for online bookings via margaretriver.com*
  • Link to anywhere you choose in your online booking process
  • MRBTA to offer more education and training to help you navigate the changing booking landscape
  • Greater opportunity to own your customers’ journey from the beginning
  • Greater opportunity for brand interaction
  • Greater opportunity for tailored calls to action
  • Easier and more efficient uploading of images and business descriptions via the new console
  • Increased SEO at your own website (there is a strong correlation between quality inbound links and search performance of your website)
  • More cost-effective referral than Google Ads, and other advertising mediums
  • Measure your website hits for increased transparency around what you get from your MRBTA membership

*NB commission still applies for bookings taken via the visitor centres, central reservations teams and affiliate bookings (e.g. waholidayguide.com.au), which will continue to operate via Bookeasy.

Image right: Example of a best practice directory listing at mrandmrssmith.com. The new margaretriver.com design will be launched in October 2019.

No link needed?

You may feel that your business is described in neither of the above categories. Perhaps you’re a micro-business with few resources to invest in your online presence, or perhaps you’re simply happy with a listing on margaretriver.com and don’t wish to increase your website traffic. For this reason, the enhanced layout will be optional and you will able to choose to have a website listing without a link to your website.

How will consumers benefit?

Statistics on MRBTA’s performance at the different stages of the travel decision making process (Dreaming; Planning; Booking; Destination; Sharing) shows growth at all stages, apart from the ‘Booking’ stage. This means that visitor interaction with our social channels and general website content including blogs, itineraries and member listings is strong, but that visitors often choose to use margaretriver.com as a research tool before going direct to the business to make their final decision.

For accommodation and tours, the global trend is for consumers to make a booking via the large OTAs (online travel agents), or directly with the operator. For non-bookable experiences, the visitor might want to take a look at a business’s website and social media feeds to learn more about the experience on offer before making the final decision to visit.

For more detailed information on consumer trends and interaction with MRBTA channels, please view our booking strategy review presentation.

A more focussed membership offering

The direct referral model will enable MRBTA to focus on its core offering for members:
Exposure to over 2 million visitors per year via our website, regional app, visitor centres and
central reservations team. View a summary of our visitor touchpoints here.

Your membership packages 2019/20

For the 2019/20 membership year, your business will be able to choose from one of the three membership tiers below. Add-ons such as brochure racking, blog articles, itineraries and visitor centre tv advertising are available to purchase separately.

Businesses investing in premium partnership packages with MRBTA will be invited to discuss their business needs for 2019/20 on a one-to-one basis.

Basic

$ 99

Per Year

Best suited to businesses looking to introduce or promote their products to other members.

  • Invites to our monthly Member Mingle
  • Industry insights via Member eNews
  • Invites to training & development opportunities
  • Access to exclusive offers via the Share the Love Club
  • Added to Preferred Suppliers page on corporate website

*margaretriver.com member business page not included
*Marketing & Visitor Centre Product Buy-ins, including brochure racking, not included

Standard

$ 299

Per YearBest suited to businesses looking to increase their visibility to consumers.

  • Invites to our monthly Member Mingle
  • Industry insights via Member eNews
  • Invites to training & development opportunities
  • Access to exclusive offers via the Share the Love Club
  • Business page on margaretriver.com, our mobile app and visitor centre multi-touchscreens
  • Listing on YMRR printed touring map (inclusion criteria applies)
  • Preferred advertising rates in the YMRR magazine and campaigns

*Button direct to your chosen website from your member page on margaretriver.com page not included
*Marketing & Visitor Servicing products, including brochure racking, are accessible at extra costs

Essentials

$ 599

Per YearBest suited to businesses looking to drive visitation and conversion at their own website.

  • Button direct to your chosen website from your member page on margaretriver.com
  • Invites to our monthly Member Mingle
  • Industry insights via Member eNews
  • Invites to training & development opportunities
  • Access to exclusive offers via the Share the Love Club
  • Business page on margaretriver.com, our mobile app and visitor centre multi-touchscreens
  • Listing on YMRR printed touring map (inclusion criteria applies)
  • Preferred advertising rates in the YMRR magazine and campaigns

* Marketing & Visitor Servicing products, including brochure racking, are accessible at extra costs

Your membership timeline

18, 19, 20 June

Information sessions with the MRBTA team to answer any of your membership questions.

25 June

Membership renewals open via corporate.margaretriver.com. On sign-up, all members purchasing an ‘Essentials’ membership will receive a direct web link on their current listing page.

19 August

Your new back end console launches. Log into corporate.margaretriver.com to upload your business description and images. Bookeasy will no longer be used for this purpose.

31 August

Membership sign-ups close. Non-renewing members will be removed from MRBTA outlets, including margaretriver.com and visitor centres.

October/November

Training sessions available for new console. A team of professional editors will review and amend member images and business descriptions in line with a style guide which will be made available to members.

18 November

Redesigned member pages launched at margaretriver.com with prominent website link.

FAQs

This list of FAQs will be added to over the coming weeks as discussions take place with members about the changes.

  • I am an accommodation or tour provider without a website, what will happen to my listing?

We are aware of a small number of member businesses in this position and we have a number of options available. Please get in touch to discuss these options.

  • What statistics and research have you based this decision on? 

Please refer to the presentation shared during the member focus groups for more information and statistics which have helped to inform this decision. View the presentation here.

  •  Will the visitor centres still be taking bookings? 

Yes, the visitor centres at Busselton, Dunsborough at Margaret River, as well as the Central Reservations team, will continue to take bookings as a service to visitors. This means that if you have a bookable product, you are still invited to keep your Bookeasy inventory up to date, and these bookings will be subject to the current commission structure. You can also keep Bookeasy up to date via your channel manager. It is only on the front end of margaretriver.com where visitors will be referred to book directly with members.

  •  Will staff maintain their member product knowledge?

Yes, staff will continue to maintain their knowledge of member product via member famils, morning briefings, and via day to day contact with members.