Virgin Australia has expanded its global marketing deal with Tourism Australia for a fourth time, with the two parties expected to pour a combined $10 million into promotional activities in 2014/15.
The $10 million will be spent on showcasing Australia to leisure travellers in New Zealand and the US, as well as supporting activities associated with the “Restaurant Australia” campaign, the two parties said in a joint statement on Wednesday.
The upgraded contract means Virgin will have spent $10 million on joint activities with the peak tourism body by the time the three-year partnership concluded in 2015, making it Tourism Australia’s largest airline partner.
“The funding announced brings the total value of our three-year marketing partnership to a significant A$20 million, making Virgin Australia now our most valuable commercial airline partner,” Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan said.
The three-year partnership was first signed in May 2012, when the two parties committed to spending $3 million each. It then doubled to $12 million by December that year, with each side committing $6 million. In May 2014, Virgin and Tourism Australia came together again to further increase the total value of the partnership to $16 million.
“The expanded partnership announced today will allow Virgin Australia to jointly host major tourism events putting Australia on the world stage and showcasing the airline and our service to important international visitors, influencers and decision makers,” Virgin chief customer officer Mark Hassell said.
Virgin came on board with Tourism Australia in 2012 after Qantas withdrew its funding support for the tourism body in favour of working with state-based tourism organisations.
Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said at the time the airline could no longer work with Tourism Australia given its chairman Geoff Dixon was among a group of investors who were pushing for change at the Flying Kangaroo.