Leading tourism marketing, PR and representation agency GTI Tourism, has been appointed, effective immediately, as the Australian and New Zealand representative office for Texas Tourism following a competitive pitch.
As Texas Tourism’s representative in the Australian and New Zealand markets, GTI Tourism will be responsible for raising the profile of the destination amongst the travel industry and consumers, and ultimately to further grow visitor arrivals to Texas.
Founder and managing director of GTI Tourism, Sarah Anderson said Texas ticks the boxes for Australian and New Zealander travellers wanting a diverse travel destination beyond the typical tourist hot spots.
“We are seeing a real desire amongst Aussie and Kiwi travellers for destinations offering a genuine, local travel experience and Texas offers that in abundance,” Ms Anderson said.
“Texas is incredibly diverse and appeals to so many different types of travellers so we will work closely with our industry partners to create urgency to visit.”
GTI Tourism will be off to a flying start with plans for a Texas Tourism sales mission in December already underway, as well as exhibiting at the Visit USA roadshow in February 2017.
Director of Texas Tourism, Brad Smyth said “travel to Texas by Australian and New Zealand travellers has grown over recent years attributing this partly to the increase in direct flights, making Texas easier to get to and a real gateway to the USA.
“While the USA had solid visitor growth from Australia in 2015 with an 11 per cent increase in comparison to 2014, Texas actually saw a 57.5 per cent increase in Australian visitors for the same period and this is something we are determined to build on further,” Mr Smyth said.
“In 2015 we saw Australians inject US$121 million in direct spending into Texas with an average stay of 8.3 nights. By partnering with GTI Tourism we plan to continue along this path working towards a forecasted visitation increase of 44.4 per cent by 2020.”
Air New Zealand currently offers a direct fight service from Auckland to Houston, and Qantas flies daily from Sydney to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport creating easy connectivity to the destination.
In addition to travel trade relations, GTI Tourism will also roll out an integrated marketing, PR and social media strategy, working closely with key partners such as airlines, Brand USA, Visit USA and other tourist boards to increase visitation to Texas and strengthen the brand amongst consumers within Australia and New Zealand.
Texas Tourism is GTI Tourism’s fifth new business win since the start of the year and the contract is effective immediately, taking GTI Tourism’s USA client portfolio to three.