Tourism Australia has signed three important strategic marketing deals in China this week aimed at promoting Australia to high yielding travellers and business events professionals in an overseas tourism market now valued at $5.7 billion annually.
The wide-reaching, multiple marketing deals consist of partnership agreements with two major airlines – China Eastern Airlines and Singapore Airlines – as well as with one of China’s largest e-commerce companies specialising in travel services, Alibaba.
The commercial deals were all signed in Shanghai by Tourism Australia Managing Director John O’Sullivan, its outgoing Chairman Geoff Dixon and new Regional General Manager for Greater China, Andrew Hogg.
Mr O’Sullivan said each of the agreements were different in nature but, together, would help strengthen distribution and Australia’s ability to target China’s rapidly growing and lucrative free and independent travel (FIT) segment.
The deal signed with China Eastern Airlines extends an existing memoranda of understanding by a further three years and will see the two parties jointly spend up to $11.5 million on campaigns and other marketing activities at a time when the airline expects to significantly expand its services to Australia.
China Eastern Airlines currently operates 68 direct flights a week between Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing in China and Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns in Australia.
China is currently Australia’s second largest inbound market in terms of visitor numbers with 839,500 visitor arrivals in 2014, up 18.4 per cent on 2013, and worth A$5.7 billion in overnight visitor expenditure.