Tourism leader thrives in downturn and boosts top line with Bartercard
When the global financial crisis left industries crashing worldwide, Datatrax, a marketing technology leader for the Australian tourism industry, really felt the effects of the downturn.
The company’s TourismTouchscreen kiosks, which showcase local attractions to visitors across Australia and New Zealand, were under threat as tourism declined and travel operators cut back on what costs they could. Despite a resilient approach which saw Datatrax survive the worst of the effects, several years later the company was still feeling the crunch in a recovering market, finding it harder to expand their client base and maintain previous buoyant advertising revenues.
While CEO, Paul Buckley, had been aware of the increased business that Bartercard could bring to its members, it wasn’t until Datatrax was in the midst of a global drop in tourism spending that they embraced joining the cashless business network. “Bartercard was the shot in the arm we needed when times were tough,” he said. We added 10-15% on our top line and took 10% off the bottom line.”
Since becoming a member in mid-2014, Datatrax has enjoyed an increase in business and the benefit of an extra income stream, and is using this to expand its network at greater speed than ever before. Through Bartercard, Datatrax has been able to increase the number of kiosk locations, giving members the opportunity to host their own kiosk touchscreen and provide their patrons with extra informational services – all without overstretching their advertising budget.
Reducing cash costs
With the revenue from the additional sales, Datatrax has used their trade dollars to reduce expenses associated with on-boarding and training their new recruits. Previously, costs such as hiring training venues, accommodation and catering were a cash expense which Datatrax incorporated into their training budget. Upon joining Bartercard, they decreased their cash expense of training by booking accommodation in Canberra through local Bartercard businesses, as well as utilising trade dollars at local cafés and restaurants for catering. Paul said this has been a huge welcomed cash saving to the business.
Datatrax has also reassigned cash business costs to Bartercard by using a local printing company to create promotional materials, used by project managers out in the field, routinely servicing and maintaining company vehicles and providing bonuses and vouchers to staff. Next on the horizon is the opportunity to grow and expand the TourismTouchscreen network internationally. “Bartercard is helping us gain critical mass,” Paul said. “By pre-selling packages on Bartercard it populates a new area with competing businesses which makes it a more attractive advertising option to new cash customers signing up to our quarterly campaigns. All businesses interested in profiting from tourism spending could benefit from advertising to the travelling public.”