The deal, which was launched at the recent Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas, will give the tourism board access to Virtuoso’s network of more than 370 travel agencies and 9,800 travel advisors across the world, which generate combined sales worth more than US$14 billion a year.
“Australia is one of the top destinations for our US market, with an impressive 137% growth in year-on-year bookings from our network of luxury travel agencies across the US. This partnership is a fantastic opportunity to further leverage this demand for both our clients, and the Australian tourism industry,” said Virtuoso’s CEO & chair, Matthew D. Upchurch.
“This agreement, and the marketing and education elements that go with it, will help Virtuoso’s members to really understand the Australian product in order to sell great holidays to their high net worth clients.”
The launch coincides with the relaunch of the Aussie Specialist Program (ASP) which is aimed at improving the knowledge and skills of travel agents selling Australia.
“We’ve put a lot of focus in the past 12 months into finding distribution partners which help us better target high yielding international travellers, and nowhere is this more important than the United States,” said Tourism Australia’s managing director, John O’Sullivan.
“The US now boasts more high net worth individuals than any other market in the world and these discerning travellers are looking for a unique, distinctive and high quality holiday experience, which we know Australia possesses.
“We will be investing additional marketing dollars and increasing resources on the ground, as well as working closely with our Australian state and territory tourism partners to ensure our premium story is told and sold well in the US,” he added.
The agreement, which includes Destination NSW, the South Australian Tourism Commission, Tourism Northern Territory and Tourism Tasmania, will run until the end of 2016. Activities will include a digital and print marketing campaign with a focus on trade engagement and agent training.