Virgin, Tourism Australia expand partnership

Tourism Australia and Virgin Australia have announced plans to increase the value of their three-year marketing partnership to AU$20 million (US$17.5m).

The deal will see the two parties jointly spend more than AU$10m during 2015 financial year promoting Australia to leisure travellers in the US and New Zealand.

The expansion of the existing three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) includes support for Tourism Australia’s recently announced ‘Restaurant Australia’ campaign, the global ‘Invite the World to Dinner’ launch event, and the Australian Tourism Exchange 2015, along with Tourism Australia’s business events and international media hosting programmes.

Photo by Peter Gudella
Photo by Peter Gudella

Each partner has agreed to contribute AU$3m in cash towards joint marketing activities, plus an additional AU$2.1m each in sponsorship arrangements.

“The funding announced brings the total value of our three-year marketing partnership to a significant AU$20m, making Virgin Australia now our most valuable commercial airline partner,” said Tourism Australia’s managing director, John O’Sullivan.

“This is a partnership which continues to evolve with Virgin Australia now making significant contributions to Tourism Australia’s global campaigns and marketing activities, as well as some of our industry’s most important trade and business events.”

Virgin Australia’s chief customer officer, Mark Hassell, added; “The expanded partnership announced today will allow Virgin Australia to jointly host major tourism events putting Australia on the world stage and showcasing the airline and our service to important international visitors, influencers and decision makers. We look forward to continuing to take the partnership to new heights in 2015.”

Combined, the US and New Zealand account for more than a quarter for Australia’s international visitors.

Tourism Australia first teamed up with Virgin Australia in 2012, following the breakdown of its relationship with Qantas. The three-year partnership initially penned in May 2012 was worth AU$6bn, but was doubled to AU$12m later that year.

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