Praise for smartphone tourism tracker
THE insight and innovation of Tasmania’s brightest information technology stars has been recognised.
The big winner of this year’s Australian Information Industry Association was a University of Tasmania joint venture that helps track tourism behaviour via a smartphone app.
The Tourism Tracer team, who use GPS technology and computer programming to understand the travel behaviour of tourists, took out four gongs in the awards ceremony at Wrest Point on Friday night.
The team from Ionata Digital and the University of Tasmania were recognised in the Consumer Markets, Business Service Markets, Research and Development Project of the Year and the Infrastructure and Platforms Innovation of the Year sections.
Senior lecturer at the university’s School of Business and Economics Anne Hardy said the recognition was a great honour.
“Over time we’ve both learned a lot about the benefits of partnership and we’ve become leaner and we’ve explored opportunities to bring the costs down significantly for potential customers in the future,” she said.
“It’s an unlikely partnership, but it has just worked. Because it is a small firm, we have developed a really strong relationship within this team.”
Dr Hardy said the project was hitting its straps at a critical time for tourism.
“I think it’s really crucial. Tasmania is right on the cusp of change. We’re starting to see questions in the community about whether we’ve reached peak tourism,” she said.
“What Tracer can do is show how people move. The next stage of this is sending messages to tourists saying ‘Freycinet is full, consider going to Friendly Beaches first’.
“My dream for Tracer is that it transforms the way we collect and the way we visualise data. I think the days of paper-based surveys and collection are going. They are no longer always useful.
“My dream for Tracer is to see it turn into a successful business.”
State finalists go on to compete in the national AIIA 2018 iAwards in Melbourne. See www.themercury.com.au for winners list.