Qantas seals $20m Tourism Australia deal – ramps up data play

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 3 August 2016
Qantas Group CEO, Alan Joyce and Managing Director, Tourism Australia John O'Sullivan

In another high flying deal, hot on the heels of its $28 million tourism contract with NSW government, Qantas has now signed a $20 million deal with Tourism Australia to promote Australia to the world.

The three year agreement involves a joint investment from both parties to attract more international visitors to Australia, with a focus on the US, Asia, the UK and Europe.

With an emphasis on digital marketing, the new agreement will see Tourism Australia and the national carrier invest in joint campaigns supported through social media, PR and trade activities, and includes an anonymised data sharing arrangement to better reach customers considering travelling to Australia.

Old wounds healed 

In November 2012 Qantas cut its long-standing ties with Tourism Australia, due to claims the tourism body's chairman Geoff Dixon had been trying to undermine the structure and direction of the airline. The marketing tie-up between the two organisations at the time was valued at $50 million over three years.

At the time, Qantas said in a statement: “This conflict has arisen from the involvement of Tourism Australia’s chairman with a syndicate that is actively canvassing fundamental changes to the Qantas Group strategy, including the proposed partnership with Emirates. Qantas cannot continue to collaborate with an agency whose chairman is a member of a syndicate committed to unravelling Qantas’ structure and direction.”

It was been reported the syndicate also included renowned adman John Singleton and famous Australian businessman Gerry Harvey.

Tourism Australia managing director, John O’Sullivan, says considering the nature of the businesses, the deal “just makes sense” – for Tourism Australia, Qantas and Australian inbound tourism.

More effective with advertising

“The plans we have around data sharing are particularly exciting, allowing us to be more efficient and effective with our advertising but also enabling us to provide consumers with a much more relevant and personalised online experience,” O’Sullivan says.

In addition to the new partnership with Tourism Australia, the tourism promotion includes marketing partnerships with New South Wales,Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory marketing agencies. This is over-and-above Qantas’ direct advertising and owned media activity across its global network.

O’Sullivan signed the multi-million-dollar deal today, with Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce.

Joyce says 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”.

“Over the past two years Qantas has been increasing capacity to destinations around the world, building our alliances with the world’s biggest airlines, and investing in our fleet, lounges and technology to make sure that visitors to Australia get the best possible travel experience,” Joyce says.

“This new investment builds on the marketing we already do and our partnerships with state and territory governments to put Australia’s best foot forward.”

High flying deals

Earlier this month Qantas and the NSW government announced a $28 million deal which sees the pair work together to promote Sydney and regional NSW to the world.

The airline and NSW Government are also launching a digital marketing push, which will see the companies push social media and virtual reality to show people the best the state has to offer.

In the past year alone Qantas, which says it invests more than $80 million in promoting Australia to the world, flew more than three million international visitors to Australia. It says this is more than any other airline – which helps drive a double digit percentage increase in tourists from Asia, in particular.

The pair have previously collaborated on smaller projects over the past six months, including promoting the destinations featured in Qantas’ latest safety demonstration video.

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