Etihad Airways has become the third airline in the space of two weeks to announce a funding boost to its partnership with Tourism Australia.
The Abu Dhabi-based carrier’s the new arrangement doubles the original value of the three-year deal signed in December 2013 to $12 million, Tourism Australia said on Thursday.
“Australia is one of our most popular destinations, and its appeal among business and leisure travellers – particularly from the UK and Europe – contributes greatly to our Australian operation,” Etihad chief executive James Hogan said in a statement.
“The partnership with Tourism Australia has delivered some innovative campaigns and strong passenger numbers over the past 12 months, and our decision to invest more in marketing Australia is driven by a desire to continue this momentum.”
The new funding will support Tourism Australia’s “Restaurant Australia” campaign, including the recent transformation of Australia House in London into a pop-up restaurant showcasing the best Australaian produce.
Etihad was also flying “food and wine influencers” to Australia for media familiarisation trips and a function at Hobart’s MONA on Friday.
Tourism Australia said a “major broadcast initiative” to air in the United Kingdom in 2015 was also in the works.
“The work we’ve done so far with Etihad Airways has proved extremely successful for both parties, including targeted marketing campaigns in the UK, Germany and France, as well strong support for key Australian trade events such as this year’s Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE14), held in Cairns,” Tourism Australia chief executive John O’Sullivan said.
Etihad operates daily to Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane, as well as 11 flights a week to Sydney from its Abu Dhabi hub. The airline will deploy Airbus A380 aircraft to the NSW capital from June 1 2015
It owns about 20 per cent of alliance partner Virgin Australia, which on October 29 boosted its global marketing deal with Tourism Australia for a fourth time to became the peak body’s largest airline partner.
Singapore Airlines, which is also a major Virgin Australia shareholder with a roughly 20 per cent stake, extended its two decades long partnership with Tourism Australia on November 10 with a three-year deal worth A$12 million.