Tourism Australia and a number of its State and Territory tourism partners have signed a cooperative marketing deal with China’s largest and fastest growing international airline, China Southern Airlines.
The agreement coincides with a formal announcement that Cairns is to become the airline’s fifth Australian destination, with a new three flights a week service from Guangzhou due to start in December.
“These agreements are strategically very significant with China Southern the largest airline in China and its Guangzhou base fast establishing itself as an important international hub, the closest major mainland city in China to Australia,”Andrew McEvoy, Managing Director, Tourism Australia.
2012-08-16 — /travelprnews.com/ — Tourism Australia and a number of its State and Territory tourism partners were in Guangzhou, China, today to sign a cooperative marketing deal that will see more than A$9 million invested in the next year with China’s largest and fastest growing international airline, China Southern Airlines.
The agreement, signed by Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy and China Southern Airlines President Mr Tan Wangeng, coincides with a formal announcement that Cairns is to become the airline’s fifth Australian destination, with a new three flights a week service from Guangzhou due to start in December.
The wide-reaching marketing deal includes partnership agreements with Destination New South Wales, Tourism Western Australia and Tourism Victoria, as part of a concerted move within the Australian tourism industry to speak with ‘one voice’ when marketing itself internationally in primary growth markets.
Mr McEvoy said China Southern’s deepening ties with Tourism Australia and its state tourism partners would further raise awareness amongst China’s growing middle classes of Australia and of the Chinese airline’s rapidly expanding services between the two countries.
“These agreements are strategically very significant with China Southern the largest airline in China and its Guangzhou base fast establishing itself as an important international hub, the closest major mainland city in China to Australia,” Mr McEvoy said.
“China Southern is now the leading carrier on the China-Australia route, carrying 22 per cent of all Chinese tourists into Australia during 2011. In just over two years, the airline has nearly quadrupled capacity to Australia, opening up direct access between China and Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, and soon to be Cairns.
“China Southern has a large domestic network in China and is rapidly developing Guangzhou into a major hub which will eventually help connect up to 80 cities to Australia. This hub and network strategy supports Tourism Australia’s own approach under the Tourism 2020 strategy of targeting the country’s rapidly emerging middle classes – focusing primarily on China’s primary cities, with steady expansion into more secondary cities over time,” he said.
Mr McEvoy said the recent introduction by China Southern of its new ‘Canton Route’ also now offers air travellers from the Northern Hemisphere more convenient connections to Australia from London and other European key cities.
He said the new marketing agreement would provide significant impetus to the latest phase of Tourism Australia’s There’s nothing like Australia global marketing campaign, currently rolling out across 17 international markets, including China.
The latest Tourism Australia campaign is proving a massive hit in China, with the new broadcast ad already viewed online by 20 million people there since being launched in Shanghai in June.
“China Southern’s partnership with Tourism Australia and its State and Territory partners, incorporating our new There’s nothing like Australia campaign creative is fantastic, given their enormous reach within China and, importantly, the fact they carry more Chinese travellers to Australia than any other single carrier,” Mr McEvoy said.
Mr McEvoy believes strong strategic aviation partnerships with airlines such as China Southern are key to Australian tourism achieving its full potential and long term success.
“Underpinning our Tourism 2020 strategy is recognition that Australia’s international aviation capacity needs to grow by between 40 to 50 per cent this decade, with China a big part of those numbers. Strategic airline partnerships like this with China Southern not only help us meet these capacity increases but also give added weight to our marketing activities,” Mr McEvoy said.
Mr McEvoy said these latest agreements with China Southern complemented other marketing and destination development activities already being undertaken by Tourism Australia for the China visitor market, including:
- Accelerating its China geographic strategy, a feature of TA’s 2020 Strategic China Plan, to target the country’s new urban elite in more of its fast emerging secondary cities;
- Developing a new version of its australia.com website, specifically for the China market;
- The Aussie Specialist travel agent program; and
- Its new partnership with Austrade to help facilitate new investment, including from within China, in Australian tourism product through the Australian Tourism Investment Guide.
China is currently Australia’s third largest inbound market in terms of arrivals with 542,000 visitors arriving in Australia during 2011, an increase of 19.4 per cent on 2010, and worth A$3.6 billion for total visitor expenditure and nights. For the 2012 financial year (ending 30 June), the Chinese inbound market had grown to a record 583,200 visitors.