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Tourism Australia signs fresh marketing deals with Virgin, Etihad

written by australianaviation.com.au | June 23, 2015

Popular Victorian tourist site The Twelve Apostles along the Great Ocean Road. (Wikimedia Commons)
Popular tourist site The Twelve Apostles along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. (Wikimedia Commons)

Tourism Australia has inked fresh marketing partnerships with Virgin Australia and Etihad Airways worth a combined $80 million over the next five years.

Virgin will contribute $25 million towards promoting Australia in key overseas markets such as the United States, with the peak tourism body tipping in a further $25 million. The deal with Virgin, which first came on board as a partner three years ago, represented Tourism Australia’s largest commercial partnership with an airline.

“We look forward to working closely with our partners and Tourism Australia to market Australia on the world stage in innovative and powerful ways,” Virgin Australia chief executive John Borghetti said in a statement on Monday.

“This renewed deal demonstrates a significant increase in our investment and commitment to inbound tourism.”

In addition to promotion and marketing activity, Virgin will support trade and business events such as the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE).


Meanwhile, Tourism Australia and Etihad will spend a combined $30 million on promoting inbound tourism from key markets in Europe, including new campaigns in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy.

The Abu Dhabi-based carrier, which started working with Tourism Australia as part of a three-year deal worth $12 million in November 2012, will also provide flights for trade and business events, as well as for travel familiarisation visits by foreign journalists to Australia.

Etihad chief executive James Hogan said the new memorandum of understanding, which was signed at the ATE event in Melbourne on Monday, reinforced the airline’s commitment to Australia.

“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,” Hogan said in a statement.

“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.”

Tourism Australia chief executive John O’Sullivan said building strong and sustainable relationships airline partners was a key plank in the peak tourism body’s growth strategy.

“Nowhere has this approach been more productive than in our evolving partnership with Virgin Australia, particularly some of the great recent work we’ve been doing together in the United States,” O’Sullivan said in a statement.

On Etihad, O’Sullivan said: “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.”

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.

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Comments (3)

  • Deano


    For $50mil the could just print out 250,000 x $200.00 vouchers to be used as part payment for the best deal they can get on a return airfare ex USA to Australia
    I reckon it would fill seats faster than a cheesy TV ad……

    People are kinda weird
    They see an ad for Australia and think awww that would be a great place to go to visit and it ends at that
    Give them 4c per liter of petrol (50L tank saves like $2) and they will burn that amount looking for a servo to redeem their voucher

    People will hunt around for a good airfare online and with $200.00 in their hot little hands, think they are getting an awesome deal because they have not only found the best fare, but they are getting $200.00 off to boot
    And guess what, if it don’t work, then the cost is negligible

    As I said, better than throwing another shrimp on the barbie or where the bloody hell are you………….

  • Marc



    7 million people arrived in Aus last year; An increase of 8% from the previous year.
    (Method: marketing/advertising/publicity)

    Your method will increase tourism by about 3%.
    (Method: discounting; It’s a short term solution which ultimately leads to a longer term problem)

  • Deano


    Mark our government should subsidize inbound tourists
    Even turn 8 million into 10 million
    Throw a couple of hundred bucks at every inbound tourist who travel on any airline
    $2 billion well spent
    It pays for itself
    Tourism creates jobs
    Takes people off the dole and gets them paying income tax
    It makes $$ from selling avgas
    More ground crew at airports
    Tourists have to eat and many eat out, more jobs
    More GST revenue
    More hotels being built and refurbished
    The list goes on and on

    BTW how much of that 8% increase do you reckon is on the back of
    1) Discount low cost carriers
    2) Low Aussie dollar
    I reckon about 50/50
    LCCs are in the main, here to stay
    Can we say the same about the Aussie dollar being low ?

    I don’t know what you think is driving the growth, but both of the above are probably contributing to about 80% of it
    15% would be natural growth as more families are visiting their newly arrived relatives
    And I reckon 5% would be through advertising and promotions

    Bottom line
    If it fits the budget, people will come, who wouldn’t. This is the best place on earth
    Trouble is, we are bloody expensive
    Fix that and we are on a winner

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