Tourism Australia and Air New Zealand have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which will see more than AUD$6 million invested in joint marketing activity over a three-year period to promote tourism to Australia in key overseas markets.
Under the agreement the two parties will each contribute AUD$3 million towards co-operative marketing initiatives such as advertising, PR, events and trade engagement, aimed at attracting more international visitors from three of Australia’s largest and most valuable inbound markets – New Zealand, North America and China.
The new MoU was signed by Tourism Australia’s Managing Director Andrew McEvoy and Air New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer, Christopher Luxon yesterday (Jun 27) in Sydney.
McEvoy said markets covered by the arrangement aligned strongly with Tourism Australia’s balanced portfolio approach to Australia’s largest inbound visitor markets.
“Together New Zealand, America and China account for more than a third of Australia’s annual international arrivals and, importantly, all three markets are growing,” he said. “This new deal provides a strong platform from which to further grow inbound tourism from all three of these key inbound markets.”
Luxon said Air New Zealand was delighted to be partnering with Tourism Australia to promote travel to Australia, which has long been a vital market to the airline.
The partnership will be the airline’s largest marketing partnership outside of New Zealand.
“Air New Zealand carries almost half of all New Zealand visitor arrivals into Australia and we have invested heavily in our trans-Tasman services in recent years, including the introduction of our ‘Seats to Suit’ fare structure which allows us to offer a range of competitive fares and service levels within the one aircraft, and the introduction of new routes such as the seasonal Auckland-Sunshine Coast service,” he said.
“We are also welcoming the opportunity to engage in joint promotional activity in China and North America.
“As a market experiencing exponential growth, China presents a huge opportunity for our industry, while the North American market continues to go from strength to strength for our region.
“In fact over one third of all North American visitors to New Zealand arrive or depart via Australia,” Luxon said.
McEvoy said the benefits of partnering with Air New Zealand extended beyond the Tasman.
“This deal also gives us important access from North America – from Air New Zealand’s own direct presence in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vancouver, but also through the connections and ‘feeder traffic’ provided by its alliance with United Airlines, which opens up cities like New York and Chicago,” he said.
“Air New Zealand has also extended its reach into China and Hong Kong with its alliance partners Air China and Cathay Pacific. These two markets present significant opportunities for us to attract high value niche travellers,” McEvoy said.
McEvoy also pointed to the importance of Air New Zealand’s trans-Tasman alliance with Virgin Australia, with whom Tourism Australia already enjoys a similar strategic marketing agreement.
“Air New Zealand’s alliance with Virgin Australia on the Tasman provides travellers with greater frequency and connectivity with access to 34 Australian ports,” he said.
“We are looking forward to seeing the two carriers extend their reach even further later this year through the introduction of a seasonal direct service between Christchurch and Perth.
“Aviation partnerships such as these remain key to Australian tourism achieving its long-term Tourism 2020 goals,”McEvoy said.
Under the alliance, Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia currently operate an average of 420 trans-Tasman flights per week.
Through the new marketing partnership and in line with continuing efforts to speak with ‘one voice’ in its international marketing, Tourism Australia and Air New Zealand will jointly seek involvement of the States and Territories in future co-operative campaigns, starting with Tourism and Events Queensland this winter.
There were 1.2 million visitors from New Zealand during 2012, spending AUD$2.3 billion. Tourism Australia estimates that the New Zealand market has the potential to grow to between AUD$3.4 billion and AUD$4.2 billion in total expenditure by 2020.