Just as the New Zealand dollar gains power against the Australian dollar, Tourism Australia and Air New Zealand have announced a deepening of their commercial relationship, signing a new AUD 1.5 million marketing agreement aimed at promoting Australian tourism within key markets served by the New Zealand national carrier.
The dollar move and the tourism deal are coincidental as the weakening of the Australian dollar is connected with the inclusive Australian election, in which the final vote count is still awaited. The New Zealand dollar gained against the Australian unit yesterday. The NZD rose to 96.04 Australian cents from 95.55 cents on Friday in New York. Some dealers predict it will overtake the AUD within two years.
Trans-Tasman cooperation grows, meanwhile, reflected in the new Tourism Australia and Air New Zealand Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). It extends an existing deal, which has seen the two parties work together on a range of successful campaigns resulting in incremental bookings to Australia with the airline increasing between 30% and 40%.
Under the agreement, Tourism Australia and Air New Zealand will each invest up to AUD 750,000 over the next 12 months towards a program of joint marketing and sponsorship activities.
Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan, who spent time in Auckland last week meeting Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxton, said the new agreement would principally target the United States – Australia’s fourth largest inbound tourism market.
“International traffic from North America is growing at levels we haven’t enjoyed since the Sydney Olympics and this is due, in no small part, to the success of a range of targeted marketing activities we’ve carried out in this market with Air New Zealand.
“Alongside Air New Zealand’s strong brand, award-winning product and competitive airfares, this new agreement gives us a strong platform to further grow inbound tourism from what remains one of Australia’s most important inbound markets,” O’Sullivan said.
The majority of marketing activities conducted by Tourism Australia and Air New Zealand over the past three years has been digitally focused, helping to showcase both Australia’s capital cities and also key regional destinations such as the Sunshine Coast. A key feature of these campaigns has been offering one common air fare to all Australian destinations.
O’Sullivan said that marketing activities planned for 2016/17 would continue to make use of Tourism Australia’s well-established There’s Nothing like Australia campaign messaging, recently updated with new creative assets highlighting Australia’s best aquatic and coastal experiences.
Air New Zealand has increased capacity between the USA and Australia in the past 18 months, including five new weekly services departing Houston, which started in December 2015. The introduction of a new Buenos Aires-Auckland service in the same month has also improved access to Australia from Argentina, Brazil and other Latin American markets.
Annual arrivals from the USA to Australia exceeded 600,000 for the first time in 2015, whilst expenditure grew 22 per cent to an all-time high above AUD 3.4 billion.
Edited by Peter Needham