Transformation through communications
Tourism Tropical North Queensland (TTNQ) needed to challenge perceptions around the impact of natural events on the reef (namely coral bleaching and cyclones), and the knock-on effect these events have holiday cancellations numbers. Moreover, Tropical North Queensland is a thriving region, full of brilliant things to do, even at times of crisis. With so much on offer, tourists struggle to navigate the often overwhelming amount of information available about the region.

Working with TTNQ, Merkle was challenged to find a way that this information could be communicated in a more localised, informative and engaging way.


A chatbot to change lives
The Locals experience was thoughtfully developed to impact the sustainability of the region’s communities and marine life. To achieve this, Merkle's set of design standards were adhered to through user-research sessions with locals and co-design with reef experts.

The chatbot brings together countless hours of interviews with Marine Biologist, Gareth Phillips and Scuba Instructor, Tanya Murphy, to life using a smart conversational interface and Artificial Intelligence (AI) through Facebook Messenger. The driving principle was to capture each local’s lifetime of knowledge and convey their friendly, down-to-earth nature to tourists wanting to experience the region.

Through our results, we have impacted United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal No. 14 Life Below Water.


The solution was “Locals of Tropical North Queensland” - a chatbot that helps inform tourists on what to expect in the region, appreciate the wonderful complexities of the world’s largest coral reef and how they can help protect it. The platform squeezes as much local knowledge as it can from experts living all over Tropical North Queensland and puts it into an interface that feels like you’re having a conversation with a local.


Merkle is a performance marketing agency with a 32-year track record of helping the best brands in the world create personalised experiences at every stage of the customer life cycle. As experts in data and technology, the agency helps organisations to transform their end-to-end customer experience. The team have strong strategic partnerships with, Adobe and Google, allowing them to design, implement and manage the best customer experience solutions for clients.

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