By Martin Kelly, Editor, Travel Trends

Australia.com has just been re-launched. The new version is much better than the old site, though that’s not saying much as V1 was a political compromise that ended up being little more than a linking conduit to the state tourism sites. Word was a key Tourism Australia board member with extensive industry interests wanted it that way – no product = no extra competition. Product from the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW) is featured throughout the new site, which though modest in terms of ambition and depth, looks professional and is a great improvement on its predecessor.

Another new destination website – this time from Gold Coast Tourism – has been going gangbusters. Just 10 days after launching, Verygoldcoast.com visitor numbers were 120% up over its previous incarnation (Verygc.com) without a scrap of online marketing. It was all down to the new URL, site architecture, content and some basic SEO. Also noteworthy is that the site, developed by Isnt Media, is pulling product from ATDW and Wotif.com. New suppliers will be coming online soon while Gold Coast Tourism has a number of other digital tourism initiatives in store. Travel Trends: December 12, 2008

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