Qantas has signed a $20 million joint marketing deal with Tourism Australia to help promote inbound tourists from the United States, Asia, the United Kingdom and Europe.
The announcement on Wednesday brings to a close a near four-year falling out between the Australian carrier and national tourism body, after Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce in 2012 withdrew funding support for Tourism Australia, saying at the time it was no longer possible to work with the organisation given its then-chairman Geoff Dixon was among a group of investors who were pushing for change at the airline.
However, in June 2015 Dixon stepped down as chairman, replaced by chartered accountant Anthony South.
Although the joint-statement did not directly mention the feud, Qantas and Tourism Australia said the deal was the start of a “new era of partnership between the two organisations”.
“When you consider the nature of our respective businesses, this is a deal which just makes sense – for Tourism Australia, for Qantas and, most of all, for Australian inbound tourism,” Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan said.
“The shared resources this agreement brings together are considerable and we’re very excited about the opportunities that lie ahead to grow international inbound traffic and increase regional dispersal.”
On top of the usual joint marketing campaigns, social media and trade activities, Qantas and Tourism Australia said the partnership would also include data sharing between the two parties to “better reach customers considering travelling to Australia”.
Joyce said this deal with Tourism Australia built on existing arrangements with state-based tourism bodies.
“Qantas has always been the biggest private sector supporter of Australian tourism and we will continue to focus on growing visitor numbers,” Joyce said.
“Both Qantas and Tourism Australia want the same thing – a strong tourism industry that makes Australia the first choice for people all over the world. With tourism both to-and-within Australia on the rise, it’s the ideal time for us to join forces once again.”
There were indications relations between Qantas and Tourism Australia were on the improve in January when the airline teamed up with the nation’s peak tourism body to promote some of the country’s most beautiful locations through a new safety video.
Tourism Australia now has partnerships with Australia’s two major carriers. In June 2015 it signed a $50 million, five-year deal with Virgin Australia in what was described at the time as the tourism body’s largest commercial partnership with an airline.
The Virgin deal sees the airline contributing $25 million towards promoting the country in key overseas markets such as the United States, with the peak tourism body tipping in a further $25 million.
In addition to promotion and marketing activity, Virgin also supported trade and business events such as the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE), which was held on the Gold Coast earlier in 2016.
Tourism Australia also has marketing partnerships with a number of overseas carriers such as Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways and Air New Zealand.