ANGELA SAURINE, NATIONAL TRAVEL REPORTER-NEWS LIMITED-JUNE 27, 2013 3:00PM
Tourism Australia has signed a deal with Air New Zealand to bring more tourists to Australia. Picture: Craig Greenhill Source: News Limited
TOURISM Australia has signed a multimillion-dollar deal with New Zealand’s national airline to help bring more tourists to Australia following its split with Qantas.
The $6 million deal with Air New Zealand will see the organisations work together on marketing for the next three years.
Last year, Qantas pulled out of a $44 million dollar partnership with Tourism Australia over a conflict of interest with Tourism Australia chairman Geoff Dixon.
Mr Dixon – a former Qantas CEO – was linked to a consortium seeking enough stake in Australia’s national carrier to change its strategic direction.
Rival airline Virgin Australia quickly jumped into the void with a deal that will see the carrier double its joint marketing to $12 million over the next three years.
Virgin and Air New Zealand also have an alliance on the trans-Tasman route.
Under the new agreement Tourism Australia and Air New Zealand will each put $3 million towards advertising, public relations, events and trade focusing on three of Australia’s biggest and most valuable markets – New Zealand, North America and China.
Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said together the three markets accounted for more than a third of Australia’s international tourist arrivals each year.
Mr McEvoy said he was keen to work with New Zealand Tourism as well.
“We’re seen as competitors in many ways but about a third of visitors from America will visit both countries,” he said.
“We will compete fiercely when we need to but we will collaborate and work together to get our part of the world better known.”
Mr McEvoy said Tourism Australia was open to working with Qantas again.
“They’re a great global carrier and they do a great job all around the world,” he said.
“We’re able to work with them any time they want to work with us.
“The good news is they’re still spending that money with the state and territory tourism bodies.”
Qantas signed a $30 million deal with the NSW Government to promote Sydney and surrounds earlier this year in the biggest tourism partnership in the state’s history.
It will match Barry O’Farrell’s government dollar for dollar – $15 million each – on advertising and marketing campaigns for three years.
Mr McEvoy said Tourism Australia worked with 17 airlines last year and will work with 24 this year.
He said the new deal gives important access from North America through Air New Zealand’s presence in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver, as well as connections and “feeder traffic” through its alliance with United Airlines, which opens up cities like New York and Chicago.
Air New Zealand also has alliances with Air China and Hong Kong-based Cathay Pacific, which Mr McEvoy said gave the opportunity to bring high value, niche travellers to Australia.
Air New Zealand CEO Chris Luxon said 82 million people from China travelled outside the country last year and there was huge potential there.
“It’s a pretty exciting time for the tourism industry,” he said.
“We’re seeing a big shift of power from the Atlantic to the Pacific and Australia is perfectly located to capitalise on that.”
The marketing partnership will be the airline’s biggest outside New Zealand.
Air New Zealand has opened new routes to Australia in recent years, including Auckland to Maroochydore, and the alliance between Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia will see the introduction of a seasonal direct service between Christchurch and Perth later this year.
Around 1.2 million visitors come from New Zealand to Australia last year.