Tourism Australia and Virgin Australia have announced their intent to renew their ongoing relationship which will see the two parties jointly spend A$50 million over the next five years promoting Australia to leisure and business travellers in key international markets.
(L to R) Etihad’s Lindsay White, Tourism Australia’s John O’Sullivan, and Virgin Australia’s Mark Hassell
The new deal represents the largest ever commercial arrangement Tourism Australia has entered into with an airline partner and builds on a successful existing three year arrangement with Virgin Australia.
Tourism Australia Managing Director, John O'Sullivan, said the new agreement will provide valuable support for Tourism Australia's global campaigns and marketing activities, as well as some of the industry's most important trade and business events.
“Building strong and sustainable relationships with our airline partners has become a key plank in our growth strategy and nowhere has this approach been more productive than in our evolving partnership with Virgin Australia, particularly some of the great recent work we've been doing together in the United States.
“At A$50 million this is a very significant deal in financial terms and also in its scope, covering marketing campaigns, trade and business events as well as media hosting he said.
As one of Australia's largest airlines, with a network of 47 domestic destinations and more than 450 destinations worldwide, Virgin Australia plays an important role in facilitating the travel of international visitors to and around Australia.
Virgin Australia Chief Executive Officer John Borghetti said: “Virgin Australia recognises the importance of working closely with Tourism Australia to promote this great country to the world. This renewed deal demonstrates a significant increase in our investment and commitment to inbound tourism.
“In recent years we have captured the attention of international audiences through major campaigns and tourism initiatives including 'Someday' and 'Restaurant Australia', the largest campaign ever run by Tourism Australia in the United States.
“Virgin Australia is fortunate to have four of the best airline partners in the world – Air New Zealand, Delta Air Lines, Etihad Airways and Singapore Airlines – all of whom are invested in supporting Australia's growth as a business and leisure destination. We look forward to working closely with our partners and Tourism Australia to market Australia on the world stage in innovative and powerful ways”, Mr Borghetti said.
The primary marketing focus of the deal will be the United States, Australia's fourth largest inbound market, currently worth more than A$2.6 billion in annual tourism expenditure and predicted to grow up to A$5.5 billion by 2020.
In addition, the agreement will cover targeted support for Tourism Australia's premier trade and business events program, including continued support of Australia's largest tourism and trade events, Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) and Dreamtime. Virgin Australia will also host travel for international and domestic influential visitors such as media, delegates and business and trade decision makers.
Tourism Australia and Virgin Australia formalised their commercial partnership in May 2012 and have worked together on a number of key joint marketing activities since, including 'Restaurant Australia' and last year's award-winning 'Someday' campaign in the United States.