Big Red Group supports campaign to boost Cairns and Great Barrier Reef tourism economy

Tropical Dollars initiative offers 2,500 vouchers worth $100 each for North Queensland residents to spend on Cairns and Great Barrier Reef tourism experiences.

February 1 2024: Big Red Group has partnered with the Australian and Queensland Governments to launch the ‘Tropical Dollars’ initiative today, supporting vital tourism recovery in the Cairns and Great Barrier Reef region following recent weather events. 

Utilising Big Red Group’s tech platform and well-known catalogue of Experience Oz experiences, the incentive will see 2,500 vouchers worth $100 each that North Queensland residents can spend on Cairns and Great Barrier Reef tourism experiences to help reinvigorate local businesses.

Announced by the Tourism Minister and Member for Cairns Michael Healy, residents are eligible to receive $100 off experiences and attractions when they spend a minimum of $200. The deals are available for travel until 30 April.

The launch of Tropical Dollars today follows a similar project supported by Big Red Group for the Gold Coast region in January, GC Summer FUNds. The project sold out in just six days and injected over $7 million into the local tourism economy.

Big Red Group Co-Founder and CEO David Anderson said Big Red Group is proud to once again use the Experience Oz tech platform to support tourism bounce back. 

“We’re proud to be supporting tourism recovery through the Tropical Dollars initiative.”

“Experience Oz was built to create an easy way for travellers to access the very best of what their destination has to offer – and the tech platform rolled out for this campaign offers deals that showcase the very best of Tropical North Queensland.”

“With 2,500 vouchers available, these experiences will be available to a broad audience – and we’re confident Australians will be keen to show their support for the local experience economy.”

Minister for Tourism, Michael Healy said the initiative is vital for restoring tourism, 

“Tropical North Queensland is such a jewel in our state and we’re committed to helping it shine again after the extreme weather.”

 “Tropical Dollars will not only benefit locals in this time of high cost of living pressures, but it will contribute to the recovery of our local tourism industry, building back the strength of this wonderful community.”

“It’s a great chance for locals to reacquaint themselves with all of the spectacular sights, tastes and sounds that this exceptional region is so well known for and to have a break after what’s been a very challenging time.

“And it is only phase one of this program, with more to come for North Queensland residents.

“It’s also so exciting to see Webjet offer such exceptional airfares. There’s never been a better excuse to get up here to Cairns, with cost of living at the forefront of everyone’s minds, these airfares won’t break the bank and will give welcome support to local jobs by bringing people to Cairns.”

Tropical Dollars deals will be available to collect at tropicaldollars.experienceoz.com.au

Big Red Group supports campaign to inject $7.2m into Gold Coast’s experience economy

50,000 experience vouchers snapped up within one week to deliver a much-needed boost the region

Big Red Group, has supported the GC Summer FUNds campaign to inject $7.2m into Gold Coast’s experience economy.

Utilising its tech platform and well-known catalogue of Experience Oz experiences, Big Red Group  partnered with The Queensland Government and Destination Gold Coast to build a website offering thousands of vouchers for Australians to claim and use at Gold Coast-based experience operators. 

Launched last Monday (15 January), the GC Summer FUNds campaign proved popular with Queenslanders, and over just six days, the BRG-powered website saw over three million page views, with all 50,000 $50 vouchers claimed and over $7.2 million spent on attractions and experiences. 

The $2.5 million initiative, delivered in partnership by the Queensland Government via Tourism and Events Queensland, Experience Gold Coast and City of Gold Coast encouraged Queensland residents to support more than 180 tours, attractions and experiences impacted by weather events over the peak summer holiday period.

Big Red Group Co-Founder and CEO David Anderson said Big Red Group, through its Gold Coast based Experience Oz brand, was delighted to partner as a website and fulfilment partner for this incredible campaign. 

“Responding to the request for support, I’m very proud of the local team who set up the technology within a few days. We experienced unprecedented demand from the moment the campaign launched with up to 200,000 South East Queenslanders on the site at any moment rushing to book a range of activities and support the program to play their part to support tourism recovery in the Gold Coast,” said Mr Anderson.

“Vouchers have been redeemed at an incredible rate with up to 200 purchases per minute and selling out all 50,000 vouchers within six days. A success measured on many levels, but, in particular by the number of experience operators who have called our team, grateful for bookings at a time when they need them most.” Click here for more information about GC Summer FUNds.

Big Red Group’s supports tourism recovery in Gold Coast

Big Red Group’s ‘Experience Oz’ joins forces with Virgin Australia

Multi-year partnership offering millions of Australian travellers more choice, value and ease has been announced this week.

Big Red Group’s domestic travel brand, Experience Oz, and Virgin Australia have commenced a multi-year partnership giving millions of Australians better value, choice and more access to popular travel experiences when booking at virginaustralia.com.  

Experience Oz, one of Australia and New Zealand’s largest tour and attractions marketplaces, covers upwards of 50 regions and supports over 3,000 experience operators, ranging from cruises, tours, activities and more. The new partnership aims to boost both domestic tourism and the experience economy by providing ease and additional benefits when booking travel and packaged experiences at virginaustralia.com.

Amidst the high cost of living, fun-filled holidays for Australians will be more possible, with Experience Oz’s 4,000+ adventures available for Velocity members to book now using Points to pay for all or part of the booking with Points + Pay. Velocity members will now also have thousands of additional ways to earn Points. 

To celebrate the new partnership, any experience booking made at virginaustralia.com before 11:59pm AEST 27th November 2023, will go in the running to win their dream holiday with two Virgin Australia domestic return flights and a $1,000 Experience Oz voucher*. Plus, until midnight 27th November members will earn triple Points (9 Velocity Points) as part of a limited time promotion^.

Virgin Australia Group Chief Commercial Officer, David Emerson said partnering with one of the country’s largest experience marketplaces will give Virgin Australia guests and Velocity members more value and choice. 

“We are excited to be partnering with Experience Oz, marking a wonderful addition to the Virgin Australia family – one that will make the next family holiday more possible for millions of Australians,” said Mr Emerson. 

“From today, the partnership will give our 11.5 million Velocity members thousands of additional ways to earn and redeem Points at a time when value and getting more from your dollar has never been so important.   

“We are also proud to be supporting the experience economy and thousands of operators across the country by making it easier and more convenient for our guests to book a flight and experience all on our website,” he said. 

Big Red Group co-Founder and CEO, David Anderson said the partnership will continue to power the company’s mission of shifting the way people experience life. 

“We know that Australians will continue to prioritise travel, both for personal experience and to support the recovering industry,” Anderson said. 

“But with the cost of living crisis becoming more acute, identifying ways to increase the value of experiences, and to ensure travellers have the chance to make memories on trips that might be closer to home, is key. 

“Enabling Aussies to both earn and redeem Velocity Points when booking experiences is a key way we’re looking at creating more value for consumers. 

“We’re proud to partner with Virgin Australia to continue to support our 3,000 operator businesses, and to help Aussies continue to connect.”

With Big Red Group leading the growth of the experience economy locally, its partnership with Virgin Australia is the first of many to come for Experience Oz.

El Niño Summer

Big Red Group data reveals the impact of hot weather across the tourism and experience industry

With the BOM confirming that El Niño is underway, Aussies are planning to make the most of the warmer weather this summer.

But what does this mean for holidaymakers and the nation’s tourism and experience industry as we enter peak season?

Data from Big Red Group’s consumer brands, Adrenaline, RedBalloon, and Experience Oz, shines a light on the mixed fortunes of experience operators across the nation during the last El Niño event, with domestic tourism in NSW taking a significant hit, whilst QLD, WA, and TAS grew year-on-year.

The 2019-2020 summer season hit NSW particularly hard due to ongoing bushfires, with outdoor experiences down 27% across the board. 

Meanwhile, warm and dry states where there weren’t severe bushfires, including QLD, WA, and TAS, grew by +13%, +35% and +73% on average respectively. 

In fact, the warmer and drier weather drove Aussies en masse to the great outdoors, with cruises, water activities, and outdoor experiences seeing a +47% increase in bookings on average.

According to Big Red Group co-founder and CEO, David Anderson, while bushfires are an apparent cause for concern, the warmer and drier weather could actually have a positive effect on domestic tourism this year. 

“When the weather is warmer and drier people want to go out and experience, and the contrary is true. 

“When it’s wetter and colder there’s a direct correlation with weather-related refunds and people making last-minute decisions not to attend or in fact being denied the opportunity to do things because they’re unseasonal.

“The weather does have a really big impact on decision-making in planning and in the moment.”

Mr Anderson also predicts Aussies will look to do activities earlier and later in the day to avoid the hottest part of the day.

“If I was out trying to do things I would look for activities in the early morning and late afternoon and take advantage of those cooler conditions.

“Amazing nature tours, early morning kayaking, there are lots of things that are nicer to do in the early morning or at dusk as opposed to in the middle of the day.

“Notwithstanding any active threats to safety, I’d be out there exploring and taking advantage of the fine weather, experiencing and enjoying life.”

You can read more on the story at news.com.au

Big Red Group Sponsors Tourist Attractions and Major Tourist Attractions at the 2023 South Australian Tourism Awards

This year we were excited to sponsor two categories at the South Australian Tourism Awards on Friday the 3rd of November 2023.

Matthew Dommenz our SA Market Manager and Andrew Hutchinson our GM Supply and Memberships donned their best to represent Big Red Group on the night in presenting the awards for Tourist Attractions and Major Tourist Attractions.

Celebrating some of South Australia’s best tourism operators – many of whom use Adrenaline, RedBalloon, and Experience Oz platforms – we were especially pleased to support these two categories at the ceremony.

A big congratulations to;

🏆 Major Tourist Attractions: Monarto Safari Park and Zoos South Australia (Winner), Adelaide Oval (Silver)

🏆 Tourist Attractions: d’Arenberg (Winner), Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society Inc. (Silver)

Thank you to the Tourism Industry Council South Australia for hosting the awards ceremony and congratulations again to all of the winners and nominees!

Experience OZ partnership with Vivid Sydney

Experience Oz and Vivid Sydney encouraged visitors to light up at night, experience more by day

Vivid Sydney, Australia’s largest festival, has not only dazzled crowds with its stunning light displays but has also become a lifeline for struggling local businesses. This year, the festival’s Local Business Program, supported by Experience Oz, has proven to be a game-changer for small and medium-sized businesses hit hard by lockdowns and typically facing quieter periods during the colder months.

Lockdowns in Sydney took a toll on the economy, estimated at a staggering $7 billion, with small businesses suffering the most. Recognising the importance of supporting these businesses, Vivid Sydney’s Local Business Program stepped in to provide a boost. 

With a record-breaking attendance of over 3.28 million, this year’s festival presented a golden opportunity for local businesses to capture the attention of inbound tourists.

Experience Oz played a vital role as the key sponsor, supporting experience operators during the tourism bounceback. The experience marketplace facilitated the sale of nearly 13,000 Vivid-related experiences for its supplier community in Sydney, doubling revenue for its suppliers with an impressive 101% year-on-year growth.

One standout example of the program’s success is Sydney Princess Cruises, a participant in the Local Business Program. They not only sold out almost all their 100-person cruises during the festival but also had to add two additional cruises to meet the overwhelming demand.

Vivid Sydney’s Local Business Program and Experience Oz’s sponsorship provided businesses with a platform to showcase their unique experiences and exclusive offers, leveraging Vivid Sydney’s engaged audience. Local business participants received access to various promotional assets such as LED screens, window decals, and posters professionally installed to attract customers. 

The impact is evident in the numbers: 

  • Compared to the previous year, the volume of experiences sold grew threefold, up by an impressive 203%. 
  • The revenue generated also doubled, reaching a remarkable 101% increase year-on-year. 
  • From March 1 to June 1, a total of 12,728 Vivid-themed experiences were sold, amounting to a value of $786,751, compared to 4,199 experiences sold, worth $390,766, in the same period the previous year.

By providing much-needed support to local businesses and boosting the tourism economy, Vivid Sydney’s Local Business Program and Experience Oz have not only illuminated the city but also brightened the future of small businesses in Sydney during the colder months.

Tiquets and Headout Partnership

Big Red Group adds Tiquets and Headout as distribution partners

According to recent Macquarie Research, households globally are looking to invest more in travel and leisure, so experience suppliers are innovating their platforms to make the customer booking experience efficient.

Big Red Group has announced its partnerships with both Tiqets and Headout as part of an initiative to provide more global customers with Australian experiences and content.

Founded in Amsterdam, Tiqets is an online booking platform for museums and attractions that connects travellers worldwide with more ways to experience culture. Meanwhile, Headout provides an online platform for locals and tourists globally to discover and book tours, excursions, day trips and get last-minute tickets to major tourist attractions, museums, shows and events. B

Big Red Group is known to be an ANZ specialist on a global basis, so the two platforms have partnered with the organisation to gain more traction in the market. They will also be implementing BRG’s application programming interface (API) to integrate ANZ experience content across their own platforms.

Big Red Group Chief Executive Officer, David Anderson, comments:


“Launching these partners means we’re able to grow our distribution and amplify Australian content to a global audience. We’re excited to bring our experience operator community more customers who want to experience Australian life when they visit.”

Ecotourism Australia Partnership

Big Red Group and Ecotourism Australia pave pathway to sustainable tourism

The peak body of eco and sustainable tourism, Ecotourism Australia, and Australia and New Zealand’s largest experience network, Big Red Group, have entered a strategic partnership to amplify and support a pathway to sustainability for experience operators.

Big Red Group, which includes experience platforms Adrenaline, Experience Oz, and RedBalloon, is committed to promoting sustainable and responsible tourism operators across their 14,000+ experiences to help travellers choose authentic operators with a commitment to sustainability.

Operators on the platforms will be able to showcase their sustainable approach by starting their journey with their Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard result as well as their ECO or Sustainable Tourism Certification.

Chief Sustainability Officer at Big Red Group, Ms Jemma Fastnedge, said, “We are moving toward a travel industry where sustainable tourism is no longer a nice-to-have but an essential component of running a successful operation.

“As the largest marketplace of experiences across Australia and New Zealand, we recognise our responsibility to incorporate sustainability into our ethos and encourage tourism experience providers to do the same.

“Our partnership with Ecotourism Australia will help make sustainability information more accessible so businesses can responsibly share their sustainability achievements and travellers can book and spend according to their values,” she said.

Ecotourism Australia Chief Executive, Ms Elissa Keenan said, “To see industry leader Big Red Group seek opportunities to build sustainability capacity through our program is incredible. Their support to showcase operators who are making a difference and ensuring their customers can see those sustainability credentials, is a significant commitment and a true demonstration of one of Australia’s largest tourism organisations to ‘walk the talk’ on sustainability.

“Sustainability is no longer a theme or a trend, it is a critical part of any business. The expectations of travellers are rapidly changing – they want to choose an experience committed to minimising environmental impact, supporting culture and community, and that they may even spend more to ensure an authentic, sustainable and responsible travel experience.

“We also know that more and more visitors are actively looking for authentic experiences backed by credible brands, particularly those holding a valid, credible and current certification or can clearly demonstrate the actions they are taking to improve in this space. Travellers want to be able to easily identify operators who will deliver the experience they are expecting.

“As Big Red Group’s supply chain makes strides to incorporate sustainability practices based on their comprehensive Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard report, we look forward to seeing them progress toward achieving global best practice sustainability certification through our ECO and Sustainable Tourism Certification programs,” Ms Keenan said.

The Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard, launched in late 2022, is a pre-certification tool allowing businesses to see where they are at on their sustainability journey by measuring their practices against the four pillars of sustainability: sustainable management, environmental impacts, socio-economic impacts, and cultural impacts.

Businesses on the Big Red Group’s platforms that have completed the Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard will have the option to display an icon on their listing indicating they have a score of 50% or more.

For businesses that progress to achieving global best practice sustainability standards through Ecotourism Australia’s ECO and Sustainable Tourism Certification programs, they will soon have the opportunity to display their certification on their listing.

The Sustainable Tourism Certification program, launched in late 2022, meets international best practice for sustainability, and the standard is recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). This new certification is for non-nature-based businesses to be recognised at global standard as ECO Certified operators (for nature-based operators) are and is part of Ecotourism Australia’s priority to make starting a journey to sustainability more accessible across the entire industry.


Media Contacts: Big Red Group: brg@wearedifferendpr.com.au

Tourism and Events Queensland Partnership

Experience OZ partners with Tourism and Events Queensland

Big Red Group’s leading tourism brand Experience Oz has partnered with Tourism and Events Queensland to win over the “Been there, done that’s”, in their first co-marketing campaign.

Tapping into Tourism and Events Queensland’s wider campaign of ‘Queensland is Calling‘, Experience Oz was perfectly positioned to help target one of their key audiences, the ‘Been there, done that’s‘, those who felt they had seen everything QLD had to offer.

Running from 1 March until 6 April, the campaign concept focuses on ‘Experiencing Queensland like it’s the first time‘, using our diverse range of experiences to showcase how much Queensland truly has to offer. Alongside owned assets, paid media will be running across Search, Social, YouTube and Native, as well as being supported via Local Agent (our B2B) channel; in hotel screens across QLD, and within the Experience Oz Experience Centre in Surfers Paradise.

Big Red Group celebrates Auscontact award win

Two Auscontact Association national awards taken home by Big Red Group’s customer experience team

Big Red Group is thrilled to announce that our very own Customer Experience team has taken out the 2022 National Auscontact Association Awards for the Change, Innovation, and Improvements category last Friday.

At a national level, our Customer Experience team was recognised for its depth of talent that had delivered a huge plan of work with a flawless execution, and had achieved record breaking results across its client services and employee engagement. A special mention to the Big Red Group Senior Leadership Team for its continual support and commitment to delivering on quality customer experience.