The experience economy

How partnership, resilience and agility is helping our supply community

Damien Anderson from Tiny Bear Distillery in Knoxfield Victoria, knows a thing or two about being agile, all learned through navigating his business through the ongoing disruption of Covid-19. A supply partner to Big Red Group for the past two years, the value of the partnership really came to fruition when the pandemic first hit.

In fact, Anderson says that without the partnership, his business would have closed. “Big Red Group allowed us to grow and adapt. They had a market which we wouldn’t have been able to access without their drive and reach. It kept our business relevant during the tough times. It’s a genuine partnership which allows us both to grow.”

Anderson found that to keep pace with the rapidly changing landscape and shifting consumer sentiment, he had to constantly adapt and evolve the business. He quickly moved from offering only physical distillery experiences, to adding an online virtual cellar door, providing opportunities for people to still feel connected while not able to get out and about.

The busines peaked at Christmas with people feeling more confident to explore, bringing a sense of happiness to the distillery as customers filled the surrounds. However, this buoyancy was short lived, with a series of Victorian lockdowns hampering operations ever since.

Moral is dipping at the moment, with another snap lockdown to contend with, the uncertainty making it difficult for the business to predict and plan. With March – July traditionally the slowest time for Tiny Bear, lockdowns just exacerbate the situation.

For Anderson it is tough knowing that in an instant, their livelihood can be shut down with no support. As a new and growing business, Tiny Bear has been ineligible for many of the grants and assistance packages that have kept other businesses afloat, such as JobKeeper and Circuit Breaker. They have managed without, but it hasn’t been easy.

While Anderson is not feeling overly confident in Australia’s economic outlook, he is deeply committed and passionate about what their business offering is. His belief in the products Tiny Bear creates is palpable – gin, whisky and very special liqueurs. With such an intrinsic passion for what they do, Anderson is determined to make the business a success, no matter what it takes.

Anderson’s steadfast mission is to keep their staff employed, who have worked tirelessly throughout all the challenges that Covid-19 has thrown them. He thanks them every day for their contribution and dedication.

His greatest takeaway from what the business has endured is to be adaptable, to think quickly, and make things happen. And with wise words relevant to all businesses, Anderson says “don’t be afraid to take risks, as it’s a bigger risk to do nothing.”

Big Red Group continues to work collaboratively with Tiny Bear and many other small businesses doing it tough Australia and New Zealand wide, using its scale and leading tech platforms to deliver customers to help their businesses grow. It’s what partnership is all about.

How to develop customer loyalty

Driving a culture for leading growth within ecommerce

Big Red Group’s Chief Growth Officer, Matthew Cavalier joined an expert panel on Corinium’s ANZ eCommerce Show to discuss how to drive a culture for leading growth within ecommerce.

Facilitated by Head of eBusiness Oceania at Nestle, Christopher Hatfield, Cavalier along with Kelly Jamieson (The Edible Blooms Group) and Adam Saunders (ChannelAdvisor) shared key tools and insights invaluable for small businesses seeking to develop customer loyalty and grow their ecommerce platforms.

The spirited conversation revealed some shared challenges such as accessing talent, and ideas on how to leverage marketplaces to scale an ecommerce business.

As Kelly Jamieson asserted “the right systems are critical to scale a business, along with the right people. If you have the right people things happen. It’s also crucial to invest in the customer journey – you have to enable the customer to make an easy transaction on your website.”

Metrics are important at The Edible Blooms Group, with Jamieson’s team taking everything into account – NPS scoring, bench marks, proactive listening to customers, and following up personally with calls if NPS levels drop. “It’s really important to invest in customer feedback and actioning response” says Jamieson, “learn from customers constantly, and tiny improvements can make a big difference.”

Adam Saunders agrees that it has to be customer led, “it’s important to look for where your customers are – where are they doing research, where is the inspiration coming from? How can I dominate my market?”

Matthew Cavalier sees a market full of growth opportunities, “you can sell more to existing customers, look for new market segments to open up, new products for new segments, or new products for existing markets. With more people coming to online marketplaces than ever before, how do you bring those new customers in – they may have different needs. If they are new to ecommerce, how do you make their purchase journey as simple as possible? Your business might need to adapt because your audience is changing.”

All agree that getting the customer experience (CX) piece right is vital. Understanding the path to purchase, how to optimise, and making the process as simple as possible is essential. A seamless customer experience is more important than ever.

Tracking and measuring the customer experience, and listening to feedback is fundamental, then making small tweaks to systems and processes to increase conversion. Small tweaks can have significant long-term impacts in building brands and trust.

And what role does channel and an online marketplace play in driving growth?

Cavalier says “we are a distribution channel for experience providers. Their forte is delivering the experience. If you look at the complexity of marketing and acquisition, there are multi platforms, cross devices, cross channels – what we bring is our expertise. We take their product to market and navigate it for them, so they can focus on their core business, ensuring when the customers turn up, they have the best experience possible.”

Jamieson concurs, “it comes down to having a trusted brand and a convenient marketplace. A marketplace is a good market entry strategy if trying to build a brand.” And for The Edible Blooms Group, it’s about building a year-round proposition for customers, growing the brand strategically and expanding the product offering so they can help customers for different gifting occasions.

Saunders sees a sizeable opportunity outside of Australia for brands, suggesting there are benefits in exploring international markets. “We are seeing a big change with major brands coming in, moving closer to consumers, using marketplaces to do that, and retailers creating their own brands, giving themselves more autonomy.”

Cavalier agrees, it’s about finding a way to engage customers for repeat purchases. For Big Red Group, launching sustainability offerings in line with the company’s ESG agenda across the brands (RedBalloon, Adrenaline) has been well received.

“It’s an exciting space to be in, determining how we can grow responsible ranges over time and support local businesses. We see different customers coming into the brands, very conscious of how they are engaging with those products. You have to really understand what they are looking for.”

Saunders says “sustainability is important to many people, so efforts for personalisation leads to positive reviews. Shift away from it all being about the sell, you want to create advocates of your brand. Don’t just understand the customer today, but understand the customer tomorrow.”

Cavalier’s team works collaboratively with Big Red Group’s supply network to ensure just that. They share the positive and negative customer feedback with suppliers so they can adjust their offerings. “That’s one of the benefits of being part of a marketplace, we can add value back, helping suppliers manage their quality control, raise awareness, give them an opportunity to fix it. Better reviews, better content, then they will sell more.”

Cavalier says “don’t be afraid to experiment, don’t be afraid to fail, and learn from it.” It’s all part of the journey to building customer loyalty.

Experience Supplier

The value of collaboration for experience suppliers

It might come as a surprise that many within Big Red Group’s supply community do not operate their business with the mindset of ‘every man for themselves’ when it comes to securing customers and growth opportunities.

Many experience suppliers see the value in creating locally based partnerships and rapport with co-located experience operators. Take for example Oz Jet Boating, a supplier that has been with Big Red Group’s Adrenaline brand for more than 18 years, and more recently with RedBalloon.

Operating 30-minute jet boats rides for thrill seekers on picturesque Sydney harbour, Oz Jet Boating has historically been hugely popular with international tourists wanting to take in iconic sites such as the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Luna Park. With international border closures, Oz Jet Boat has repositioned itself towards domestic tourism, focused on leisure, holiday and family markets.

While this market has been growing at a steady rate, Oz Jet Boat and other co-located experience operators recognised the mutual benefits that could be gained by offering ‘experience bundles’ to customers wanting to spend a day exploring Sydney’s harbourside. As such, they have established partnerships between local attractions (Luna Park, Sea Rock Grill) which is proving to be a win-win situation for both suppliers, and customers.

While bundling attractions is not something new, such as when visiting Gold Coast theme parks, Covid-19 has propelled more small businesses to innovate and become more receptive to the concept of partnering.

And it’s not just small businesses, it’s also industry. Recent partnerships between Big Red Group and Tourism Australia, and Service NSW, have delivered new customers to Big Red Group’s network of 2200+ experience suppliers. The marketing and scale of these large industry campaigns is nothing but good news for small business operators.

Big Red Group with its multi-brand approach (Lime&Tonic, Adrenaline, RedBalloon), has long recognised the value of cross-channel collaboration to open up access to new customers and audiences for its supply community. And in the future, Big Red Group sees much potential with opportunities to drive further industry growth through facilitating more networking between its supply community.

With Big Red Group represented at the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) for the first time (June 6-9, 2021, International Convention Centre Sydney), it sees it as an opportune time to gather a few suppliers together in what is likely to be, the first of many networking events. It is a great step towards more cross-supplier collaboration, which can only help fuel the domestic industry, and ultimately benefit customers in the future, with more experience options.

There is great power in collaboration.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” Helen Keller

Which is needed now, more than ever.

Environmental, social and corporate governance

Big Red Group Co-founders leading by example

BRG Co-founders David Anderson and Naomi Simson consider sustainability a responsibility of all people in leadership, one step taken recently was both joining the Green Pledge from Leaders for Climate Action (LFCA). In doing so, they put their names and reach to a growing business community including high profile leaders committed to driving climate action and change, joining the likes of Mike Canon Brookes, Sarah Wilson and Erica Berchtold.

Having a robust environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) agenda is fundamentally important to Big Red Group, on its mission to deliver an experience sustainably every second somewhere on earth by 2030. The leadership team are not only keen to lift the environmental consciousness of BRG’s cohort of 100+ employees, but raise awareness and change behaviours within the wider community.

Through its network of 2200+ supply partners, Big Red Group seeks to increase sustainable product offerings, to provide consumers with more opportunities to choose ‘good for the planet’ experiences. As such, Big Red Group introduced RedBalloon ‘Responsible Experiences Range’, and Adrenaline ‘Low Footprint’ offerings in November of 2020, both of which have gained immediate and strong uptake.

And this comes as no surprise as statistics alone tell the story. Per a recent McKinsey 2021 global trends report, environmental innovation and ‘green’ purchasing is rising globally, while locally in Australia 87% of consumers are more likely to purchase products that are ethically and sustainably produced. The experience marketplace is no different, consumers want the option to buy ‘feel good’ experiences which tick the eco-certified box.

This puts an ESG agenda firmly front and centre for organisations wanting to remain relevant in the future not just to consumers, but also to attract the right talent, says Anderson.

“We started our journey as a business articulating our purpose right from the start. Communicating this business purpose to an employee is vitally important, as today’s workforce expect it to mean something. They want to turn up knowing their work is impactful, and that they make a difference.”
“A business needs to be authentic, to know what it stands for, why it’s there, and what it’s trying to accomplish. And in that context, an ESG agenda alongside a profit agenda is more and more important.”

And for those organisations promoting a pure ESG agenda as their only purpose to be, Anderson says, “there’s a word for those organisations, and that’s defunct. You have to have profit. Businesses need purpose that allows both profitable and purposeful activity.”

As Big Red Group continue to evolve its ESG agenda, based around 7 of the UN’s 17 Good Life Goals, Anderson and Simson know there is still much to do. But they are hopeful that under their stewardship, they will shift conversations, inspire action and contribute to shaping a sustainable economy of the future. They will just take it one step at a time.

WATCH: David Anderson, Big Red Group’s Group CEO provides insights into business purpose.

Great places to work

Lessons learned from remote working

Within days of the pandemic announcement back in March 2020, BRG exited its Sydney office and decentralised the team to a full remote working model.

Deploying the team to home based working, and empowering them with the right tools and technology within a week was no easy feat. It was not a unique situation, many companies faced similar circumstances.

With no office, and no opportunity to physically interact with people, BRG’s People & Culture (P&C) team were faced with a challenge – how could they effectively onboard new starters, whilst ensuring BRG’s tone and culture still resonated? And how could they maintain conversation and engagement between existing team members?

Whilst many leaders faced this challenge, at the core of the enterprise is its commitment to culture – the challenge was set and it required a deep understanding and strategy to ensure that BRG’s experience of work was not just maintained but elevated. The leaders were determined to provide the same kind of welcome, engagement, inclusion and support that new starters normally experienced when attending BRG’s office, so the P&C team set about designing and implementing a comprehensive remote digital onboarding program.

They established set monthly intake dates so there was always more than one person starting at a time, paired new starters with aspiring leaders to mentor them virtually, and delivered interactive online training modules encompassing BRG’s history and culture, led by senior leaders.

Within days of the pandemic announcement back in March 2020, BRG exited its Sydney office and decentralised the team to a full remote working model.

Deploying the team to home based working, and empowering them with the right tools and technology within a week was no easy feat. It was not a unique situation, many companies faced similar circumstances.

With no office, and no opportunity to physically interact with people, BRG’s People & Culture (P&C) team were faced with a challenge – how could they effectively onboard new starters, whilst ensuring BRG’s tone and culture still resonated? And how could they maintain conversation and engagement between existing team members?

Whilst many leaders faced this challenge, at the core of the enterprise is its commitment to culture – the challenge was set and it required a deep understanding and strategy to ensure that BRG’s experience of work was not just maintained but elevated. The leaders were determined to provide the same kind of welcome, engagement, inclusion and support that new starters normally experienced when attending BRG’s office, so the P&C team set about designing and implementing a comprehensive remote digital onboarding program.

They established set monthly intake dates so there was always more than one person starting at a time, paired new starters with aspiring leaders to mentor them virtually, and delivered interactive online training modules encompassing BRG’s history and culture, led by senior leaders.

Welcome kits were delivered to homes, full of goodies and experience vouchers to create excitement and embed a sense of BRG’s purpose – shifting the way people experience life. Over ensuing months, BRG expanded its FTE by more than 50%, requiring remote onboarding of more than 40 people.

Remarkably, BRG found productivity excelled while employees worked remotely, seeing record growth across the year. However, the very essence of BRG – employee connection – started to decline, requiring the need to innovate further.

Experiences @ Work was promptly launched in July 2020, a highly unique employee engagement program co-developed by Group CEO David Anderson and Director of People & Culture, Madeleine Robins. It has since become a core part of BRG’s employee value proposition, and an absolute highlight of life working at BRG.

This program ensured the broader team remained connected while working remotely, stimulated important conversations and effectively integrated new members into the team. During lockdowns, BRG implemented online Experiences @ Home, with shared group experiences. As restrictions eased, BRG moved to physical gatherings, engaging teams in once-in-a-lifetime experiences. These continue monthly, and recently, were hosted within BRG’s new head office (launched in April 2021) with experiences such as gin tasting, sushi making and cocktail crafting lessons.

While some of BRG’s team will choose to continue to work remotely, others are taking advantage of the new office and are either working full or part-time in the award winning eco inspired space. One thing that BRG has learned throughout the pandemic, is that work is what you do, not a place you go. And that Experiences @ Work are definitely here to stay.

Future of work in Australia

Empowering employees with choice

The new future of work has arrived, and BRG is leading the charge

The pandemic has changed the landscape of priorities for people. Many now value health, wellbeing, and family more than ever before. From home-based working, they have recognised the value of relationships, and embraced more balance into busy working lives.

BRG’s team worked remotely for more than a year after the government announced a work from home program in March 2020. During that remote period of working, the team proved that they could still be effective, collaborative and productive, despite being physically apart.

In fact, the team delivered record results, with BRG currently up nearing 50% year to date, like-for-like, having delivered more than 800,000 customers and over $50m in revenue to its supply partners in 2020.

As such, BRG’s leadership team challenged itself to imagine what the new future of work could look like, recognising that there was not one ‘right way’ for people to be their most productive. Seeing the pandemic as an opportunity to reshape the narrative around workspace, BRG commissioned an in-depth study involving industry experts, demographers and business leaders to provide thought leadership on what the ‘new’ experience of work could look like post pandemic.

The outcomes of the research helped BRG to shape its new workspace and adopt a hybrid model of working, launched in April 2021. BRG’s progressive, futuristic and flexible approach to work further amplifies its inclusive and connected corporate culture.

As Madeleine Robins, BRG’s Director of People & Culture explains, “our employees now have the freedom of choice – they choose how and where they do their best work, and we support them in their choice. Whether that be full-time in the new office, part-time hybrid working arrangements, or remaining fully remote. Our people have the autonomy to make the choice that works best for them.”

The new workspace at 5 Martin Place Sydney will materially change the way BRG does business – the where, the how, creativity, and cadence – and is equipped with the latest technology to seamlessly ‘virtually’ integrate those who continue to work remotely.

This underpinned by a bespoke employee engagement program – Experiences @ Work which ensures people maintain connection and important cross team conversations even when working remotely. The unique program supports the industry BRG serves, and reminds the team of BRG’s purpose – to shift the way people experience life.

The new future of work has arrived, and BRG is leading the charge.

Business Growth Strategies

Dine & Discover off to a strong start

Delivering new customers to supply community

Sydney, 9 April 2021 – The first 2 weeks of Big Red Group’s (BRG’s) involvement in Service NSW’s ‘Dine & Discover’ program has seen strong consumer uptake.
Through brands RedBalloon and Adrenaline, over $100,000 of ‘Dine & Discover’ experiences have been sold, delivering customers directly to the 1000+ participating BRG experience suppliers across metro and regional NSW.
Bucket list experiences (skydiving and hot air ballooning) have been most popular, and exhilarating outdoor activities such as canyoning, 4-wheel driving, and quad biking.
The Dine & Discover program highlights the tremendous mutual benefits that strategic partnerships between government and private enterprise can deliver.
The benefit is two-fold. For consumers, they have a central marketplace to shop and compare Dine & Discover experiences from, opening up a range of exciting experiences they may never have considered. It’s a straightforward buying experience where consumers apply their ‘Dine & Discover’ vouchers towards eligible experiences.

And for experience suppliers, it’s a central conduit for BRG to deliver new customers and incremental income to their business, many of which are small operators that may not have the scale or budget to market their involvement in the program.

BRG’s technology platform was seamlessly integrated with Service NSW due to a significant investment BRG made in preparing, testing, due diligence and training. As David Anderson, BRG’s Group CEO comments, it was a worthy investment.
“We believe it was an important investment to make to support the economic prosperity of businesses throughout Australia. And as an Australian owned and operated business, we were in a unique position to put our resources behind it.”

As many small business owners continue to experience increasing costs to find and retain customers, especially through large paid social media platforms, BRG believes that programs such as ‘Dine & Discover’ are a cost-effective way to deliver a new pipeline of customers.

Through more than 20 years of experience, BRG considers the voucher system to be a highly effective way of introducing new customers to suppliers. The up spend at the supplier, as well as other spending in local businesses, represents at least a threefold uplift in economic impact.

“BRG is pleased to use its systems, processes and customer base to support economic recovery across the sector” said David Anderson. “Our marketplaces delivered three quarters of a million customers to businesses around Australia in 2020 through Covid. Together with this NSW initiative, and an uplift in domestic tourism, we anticipate delivering more than a million customers in 2021.”

Programs that encourage consumers to get out and about will continue to stimulate economic recovery and growth, and BRG looks forward to being involved in future programs of this type.

Employee Connection

Madeleine Robins on Big Red Group’s Workplace

March 2021, Madeleine Robins, Big Red Group’s People and Culture Director recently spoke about Big Red Group’s workplace culture, and how the pandemic has shaped its future workspace.

BRG relinquished its office space in March 2020 when the pandemic was declared, and moved to a fully remote workforce. Whilst productivity was able to be replicated in line with office outputs, it was a matter of ensuring connection amongst the Big Red Group community could still be maintained despite the physical distance between people.

According to Madeleine, Big Red Group’s very culture hinges “on the simple point of connection, and the richness of that connection allows us the depth of creativity that continues to drive our commercial success.”

Throughout Covid-19, remaining connected was a challenge able to be overcome by the very nature of the work that Big Red Group undertakes – serving experiences to shift the way people experience life.

“As we don’t have an office right now, we use experiences to provide that richness of connection for our teams. And the impact of that is a depth of relationships and productivity, and it’s that connection that enables us to run a more innovative, challenging and forward-thinking business.”

Madeleine adds that when Big Red Group does take a new office premise in 2021, the ‘experience @ work’ program will continue. Every month is different, with a variety of experiences for Big Red Group’s people to be involved in, consistently reminding them of their purpose, unique identity and competitive advantage – Big Red Group sells experiences.

In March alone, there is axe throwing, ocean kayaking, sabre fencing, Barcelona cooking classes and a cultural tour of Chinatown planned. These experiences are a fantastic way for people to get to know each other across the organisation, integrate new team members, and provide an opportunity to try the experiences on offer through RedBalloon and Adrenaline – two leading brands under the Big Red Group umbrella.

Big Red Group’s team have been working remotely for over 12 months, and Madeleine says, they are ready to come back to the office, to collaborate in person, innovate ideas together, and work on challenges. Madeleine muses that it will be an interesting transition, but one that they are ready for, as teams are missing each other.

While flexible and remote working will remain an option, Madeleine sees the new working environment very much as a hybrid model, where people will choose to do a combination of both in-office work, and working from home.

Madeleine adds “Big Red Group’s role as an employer is to provide options and parity of experience and opportunity, our employees choose where to do their best work.”

No matter what, experiences will always underpin the BRG community regardless of their office surrounds, as they are Big Red Group’s competitive advantage.  The mantra is simple – make every moment count, both in and out of the office.

About Madeleine Robins, Big Red Group’s People & Culture Director

As a commercial HR leader passionate about organisational design, Madeleine oversees how Big Red Group’s teams connect and influence each other to be the best they can be – operating with purpose attributed to an optimised growth culture and expert team communications.

Madeleine is accountable for strategic People and Culture initiatives across all Big Red Group business operations including managing mergers and acquisitions, embedding ultimate best-fit organisational design, devising Executive development programs, and sourcing and developing talent.

Prior to Big Red Group, Madeleine was Head of Employee Experience at RedBalloon, and previous to that served as HR Manager for Groupon AU.

Madeleine graduated with Honours from Manchester Metropolitan University, and holds a BA majoring in Criminology and Sociology.

International Women’s Day

Celebrating Emily Duggan’s racing career on International Women’s Day

March 2021 – On International Women’s Day (IWD), Big Red Group invited one of Australia’s leading racing car drivers, Emily Duggan, to speak at an in-house event.

The interactive event attended by the full Big Red Group cohort (100+), was hosted by David Anderson Group CEO. Leading into the session, David spoke about Big Red Group’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion, and how IWD’s theme of ‘Choose to Challenge’ for 2021, was fitting and in alignment with Big Red Group’s ESG commitments to the UN’s Good Life Goals (GLG 10 – Reduce Inequality).

Highlighting the recent release of Big Red Group’s Diversity & Inclusion Report, David reflected on the progress Big Red Group has made, however noted the need for the business to constantly challenge itself on how it can do better. David then introduced the organisation to Emily Duggan, as a leading sportsperson who constantly chooses to challenge.

Emily then went on to share her journey from her first V8 supercar driving experience, delivered via a RedBalloon V8 Racing Experience, through to now vying for a championship win in the Australian V8 Touring Car ‘Dunlop Super3’ series, commencing in July this year.

It has been a remarkable journey to date for Emily, from her initial phone call to CAMS (Confederation of Australian Motor Sport) in 2014, where she enquired whether women were permitted to compete, through to buying and maintaining her own race car, winning her first Series X3 NSW race on just her fifth start, achieving 26 podium finishes in the category, and making history in 2016 as the first female to compete in the Super3 series.

Committed to pursuing a racing career since high school, Emily has overcome considerable logistical and financial adversity to follow her sporting ambitions. Lacking industry knowledge, financial backing and surrounded by doubters, Emily has shown what hard work and relentless tenacity can achieve.

Currently working two jobs to fund her sporting career, Emily aims to be an unstoppable force well into the future. Her only regret, is that she didn’t call CAMS earlier, as she would have started her motorsport journey much sooner, and perhaps even built herself a go kart.

A fantastic ambassador for any aspiring sportsperson, Emily’s story shows that any dream can be achieved if you’re willing to work hard, believe in yourself, and turn challenges into opportunities, with many parallels that can be applied to business.

As for Big Red Group to continue on its current growth trajectory (up more than 50% like for like, year to date) and to build further scale as Australia’s leading experience marketplace, it will need consistent perseverance, and a Big Red Group community-wide mindset of ‘Choose to Challenge’.

Big Red Group congratulates Emily on her sporting career, and wish her all the best in her future endeavours, both on and off the track.

Benefits to our community

$1.2b package to benefit Big Red Group’s supply community

It’s great news for Big Red Group’s experience supply partners, with hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to flock to regional areas.

Sydney, 11 March 2021 – Big Red Group experience supply partners are set to benefit from the federal government announcement today that it will be injecting $1.2b into aviation and tourism industries.

The support package running from April – July 2021, as part of the National Economic Recovery Plan, will deliver hundreds of thousands of tourists to regional Australia. The package includes half-price airline tickets for 800, 000 travellers, discounted loans for businesses, and direct support to the airline industry.

David Anderson, CEO and Co-founder of Big Red Group comments, “some of our suppliers have traded brilliantly throughout the last few months, benefiting from our marketplace performance +50% YoY. Others unfortunately, in the wrong spot, or with an offer not easy to pivot for the ‘local’ – so it’s been a much harder ‘return’. This announcement, such as access to interest free loans for up to $5m for our supplier community, can only be great news.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison in his announcement today said, “this package will take more tourists to our hotels and cafes, taking tours and exploring our backyard. That means more jobs and investment for the tourism and aviation sectors as Australia heads towards winning our fight against COVID-19 and the restrictions that have hurt so many businesses.”

David Anderson agrees, expecting a significant downstream effect “it’s important to get the country working again, rather than relying on bailouts – people want to make an impact, a difference, trade their craft, tell their stories. It’s expected that every $1 spent on a flight will result in a $10 spend in destination.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development Michael McCormack said “the measures would work hand-in-hand to boost interstate tourism and aviation in key regions significantly impacted by the loss of tourists, with discounts offered on tens of thousands of fares per week across an initial 13 key tourism regions.”

Coinciding with both April and July school holidays, travel destinations include the Gold Coast, Cairns, Whitsundays and Mackay region (Proserpine and Hamilton Island), the Sunshine Coast, Lasseter and Alice Springs, Launceston, Devonport and Burnie, Broome, Avalon, Merimbula, and Kangaroo Island.

Flights, routes and the total number of tickets will be driven by demand, and will be available on airline websites from 1 April.

Australians keen to support small business and the regions who have been doing it tough are certain to support the program. Experience bookings in relevant regions can be made through Big Red Group’s brands of RedBalloon and Adrenaline, with thousands of experiences to choose from.

Let’s go Australia.