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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tourism Australia breaks new ground with STA travel deal

Tourism Australia has signed a new, A$9 million ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MoU) with STA Travel one of the world’s largest travel retailers - to promote youth travel Down Under from many of Australia’s largest and most valuable inbound tourism markets.

The three year agreement aims to build upon a number of successful recent collaborations between the two parties, notably Tourism Australia’s ‘Best Jobs in the World’ competition, which has already resulted in significant increases in the sale of STA Travel youth holiday packages to Australia.

The deal will see the two partners work even more closely to promote travel to Australia from a number of key international markets, including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the United States, Japan and Singapore, as well as domestic travel within Australia.

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The deal between Tourism Australia and STA Travel was signed in London by Tourism Australia’s new Regional General Manager for the UK, Denise Von Wald and STA Travel CEO John Constable.
The signing of the agreement coincides with the start of the World Youth Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) in Sydney, involving more than 800 delegates from 80 countries who offer products or services to teenagers or travellers in their teens, 20s and early 30s.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy said that the tie up with STA Travel was supported by a recent review of how Australian tourism is distributed internationally, which had identified opportunities through new industry partnerships.
“Up to now, most of our major strategic marketing agreements have been with airlines, so this deal marks a significant and very positive step towards broadening the international marketing and distribution of Australian holidays,” Mr McEvoy said.

He said STA Travel’s strong, respected brand and worldwide network of more than 400 stores across 85 countries provided a powerful distribution platform for us to market Australia overseas.

“The success of our recent collaboration on ‘Best Jobs in the World’ has already demonstrated strong commercial results, and we hope to see this performance continue as we formalize and further extend our partnership with STA Travel,” he added.

STA Travel developed a global campaign to encourage entries into Tourism Australia’s ‘Best Jobs in the World’ competition. This, together with tactical programs, saw year on year sales increase 100% in the United States, 42% in Germany and 17% in the UK. They also reported a 180% increase in website traffic and online queries.

STA Travel CEO John Constable said first year of the MoU would focus upon leveraging the ‘Best Jobs in the World’ campaign, aiming to increase youth holiday packages and uplift in the company’s Australian Working Holiday Maker bookings.

“Australia is a core part of STA Travel’s business and whilst the short term partnership agreements have delivered strong results, we see a longer term approach as much more beneficial to driving more youth business to Australia,” Mr Constable said.

Youth is an important target market for Australian tourism, currently representing 26 per cent (1.6m) of all international visitors to Australia each year. Importantly, youth travellers tend to stay longer, spend more and disperse more widely throughout the country than most other target segments.
On average, youth travellers (15 -29 years old) spend A$7,279 per trip in Australia (IVS: September 2012).

Under the MoU, Tourism Australia and STA Travel will collaborate on a range of co-operative marketing activities, such as advertising, consumer promotions, digital marketing, public relations, social media and consumer shows.

Tourism Australia and STA Travel hope to expand the MoU agreement to include state and territory tourism partners.

Tourism is Australia's largest export earner and, in 2011/12, generated A$96 billion in spending and 2.8% of Australia’s total GDP.
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