Tourism Australia had deepened its commercial partnerships with Virgin Australia and Etihad Airways by signing two major five-year deals with each carrier: a AUD 50 million joint marketing deal with Virgin Australia and a similar AUD 30 million deal with Virgin’s close partner (and major shareholder) Etihad Airways.
The deals are the biggest in Tourism Australia’s history, Tourism Australia managing director, John O’Sullivan said yesterday.
The new Memorandum of Understanding signed with Etihad yesterday at the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE15) in Melbourne extends an existing three-year deal worth AUD 12 million, which expires this year.
O’Sullivan said the extension of the pact highlighted Etihad Airways’ commitment to the Australian market.
“We’re delighted to further strengthen our relationship with Etihad Airways. This is a landmark agreement which 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.
“Through their strong global footprint, particularly within Europe and their global partnerships, Etihad Airways is now one of Tourism Australia’s most important aviation partners, actively supporting some of our most important international campaigns and playing a critical role feeding traffic to Australia’s key international gateways,” O’Sullivan said.
Etihad Airways president and chief executive James Hogan said the deal with Etihad reinforced the carrier’s commitment to the Australian market.
“It’s pleasing to see our continuing investment in Australian tourism attracting more and more visitors each year and delivering economic benefits to tourism operators Australia-wide.
“Etihad Airways and its partner airlines – notably airberlin, Alitalia, Air Serbia, Air France/KLM and Virgin Australia – offer a combined network of more than 180 cities throughout Europe and Australia, positioning us as enablers of sustainable tourism growth, and offering consumers greater choice and better connectivity.
“Together we add real muscle to Tourism Australia’s efforts to promote tourism from overseas and enable visitors to see more of Australia while here.”
The primary focus of the Tourism/Australia Etihad deal will be to promote Australia to international leisure and business travellers within Europe – specifically rolling out new tourism campaigns in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy.
The agreement will also cover targeted support for Tourism Australia’s trade and business events program, including continued support for Dreamtime. The airline will also provide international tickets for media/trade and business events famil programs.
Tourism Australia also works closely with Virgin Australia and the new deal with the Australian carrier will ensure that bond continues.
Edited by Peter Needham