Hurtigruten Sep takeover sides
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Check your trip: Tech aims to prevent costly COVID-19 cancellations

As tourism operators Australia wide grapple with the latest round of harsh COVID-19 lockdowns, a new platform aims to help travellers better identify risks and restrictions and prevent costly cancellations.

As tourism operators Australia wide grapple with the latest round of harsh COVID-19 lockdowns, a new platform aims to help travellers better identify risks and restrictions and prevent costly cancellations.

Unsure where you can actually go on your next Aussie holiday? There’s a site to help you out!

goPassport’s Know Not No (KNN) platform provides the most up-to-date information on the COVID-19 situation and restrictions Australia-wide and countries we have travel bubbles with.

Led by infectious diseases and border control experts, by clicking on an interactive map, KNN users can see precisely the COVID-19 situation in their LGA and restrictions in the LGA they intend to travel, ensuring informed decisions about visiting.

“As we have seen through recent snap lockdowns COVID-19 can rapidly disrupt plans and gone are the days of just freely travelling,” said CEO Matt McKinley.

“A state, territory or LGA can appear safe to travel at one moment before dealing with a potential cluster the next.”

Queensland
©Tourism and Events Queensland

Mr McKinley said a link to the KNN website from a tourism operator’s booking sites, along with a link in reservation emails could assist in helping travellers feel more confident and help reduce costly cancellations.

“The idea of losing money through cancellations and non-refundable travel services due to changes stops people in their planning,” Mr McKinley said.

“The anxiety of their family being thrown into a quarantine hotel for 14 days is genuine for people.”

Mr McKinley said furthermore travellers are often confused by media messaging and unsure of which resource will provide the most accurate and updated information on lockdowns and restrictions.

Because let’s face it, it’s a full-time job just trying to keep up with it all on your own!

“Coupled with the delay in the actual change appearing on the Government Health website has created a significant lack of confidence for travellers daring to leave home and travel into another state,” he said.

More people say no to travel than is necessary and according to Austrade it is having a devastating and long-lasting impact on tourism operators Australia-wide.

For many years tourism has been a growing and crucial part of the Australian economy hitting a high point in 2019, where total spend by domestic tourists and international visitors was $152 billion an increase of 10.3% on the previous year.

While yet to release its latest figures, Austrade reported that within months of the first COVID-19 cases in Australia, the industry slumped, with tourism Gross Domestic Product (GDP) falling to $50 billion, down 0.6 percentage points.

Based on the patented goPassport principles of capturing the pathway, guiding, monitoring, and alerting for each traveller, KNN’s goal is to build confidence in travel as travel restrictions continue to impact the future of living with COVID-19.

The tech company is urging tourism operators to test the KNN platform. It says travellers would pay $7.99 for the user-pay solution to receive alerts by entering their details and travel plans.

“If we are going to rebuild the tourism industry, we need solutions to help restore confidence in travel,” Mr McKinley said.

Click here for more information.