$20m boost for Tourism

$20m boost for Tourism

A series of 24 scheduled and charter flights will be the centrepiece of a new $20 million tourism partnership unveiled today by Tourism Australia and industry partners.

Speaking at the launch of the campaign, new Tourism Australia (TA) managing director Andrew McEvoy said the decision to target 13 predominantly Asian markets was to give the tourism industry a “shot in the arm” in 2010.

Five large travel agencies in China are behind the release of 7000 additional seats into Queensland from mid-February. “These markets are only 10 to 13 hours away, so they have shorter lead times than North America or Europe,” he said. The Federal Government said last year it would provide TA with $9 million in funding. That has now been augmented with a further $11 million from state governments, airlines and regions.

Tourism bodies on the Gold Coast and Tropical North Queensland have tipped in additional funds to secure the flights, which will depart from Beijing, Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou and fly into Cairns and Brisbane airports. The proposal for the extra airlift came from five large travel agencies in China, said  Richard Beere, executive general manager international at TA.

China Southern Airlines is providing most of the additional lift on exclusive charters, but Qantas and Cathay Pacific have laid on supplementary scheduled services. There are also two flights from regional Japan as well as one Chinese flight heading to Adelaide, Beere added. Promotional activities will also take place in New Zealand, Singapore, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Gulf region.

TA will also target domestic travel as part of its bid to stimulate the market ahead of an expected return in long-haul travel in the second half of 2010. Business Events will also receive a $2m funding boost.