This appointment marks the first time that Australia and New Zealand have been identified as key markets for travel to Oklahoma, alongside German-speaking Europe, the UK and Ireland.
The investment Down Under during a time of uncertainty for the rebound of international tourism demonstrates Oklahoma’s confidence in the return and growth of the resilient Australian and New Zealand traveller.
Pre-COVID-19, a high capacity was experienced on Qantas’ Sydney-Dallas/Fort Worth route, which saw an average of 400 passengers arriving daily. As Oklahoma’s cross state-border gateway (a 1.5-hour drive from Ardmore and three hours south of Oklahoma City), Dallas/Fort Worth in Texas is well-positioned for starting a multi-state road trip to incorporate Oklahoma, with road trip itineraries to be promoted as travellers ready themselves for taking an international fly-drive holiday.
Over the past decade, Oklahoma has experienced steady growth in Australian and New Zealand consumer spend via credit card and ATM withdrawals while in-state, which is expected to continue once international travel resumes. The US state took its first steps into Australia earlier this year when it took part in the Visit USA Australia Agent Roadshow in February.
The team will position Oklahoma as the heart of Route 66, targeting the fly-drive market and appealing to leisure travellers who want to explore wide-open spaces, culture and history beyond the gateways.
Of the appointment, Todd Stallbaumer, Travel Development Manager at Oklahoma Tourism, commented: “Oklahoma is very excited to be launching into the Australian and New Zealand markets. Located at the heart of Route 66 and just 98 miles from Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, the state offers travellers a multitude of self-drive experiences, blending our spectacular outdoors, barbecue flavours, current western cowboy culture and abundant Native American history into enticing road trip itineraries.
“In an unprecedented time for international travel, we’re confident our partnership with Linkd Tourism will help put Oklahoma on the map and show visitors from Down Under the wonders that await when travel to the USA resumes.”
Kylee Kay, Managing Director of Linkd Tourism, added: “I’m thrilled to introduce Oklahoma Tourism as our destination partner and look forward to growing interest in and visitation to the state from this market through tactical and educational trade, marketing and PR activity.
“At a time when many destinations are reducing international promotion, the investment in Australia and New Zealand is an extremely positive sign of Oklahoma’s faith in the market and we are committed to putting Oklahoma on the radar ahead of the borders re-opening and accelerating the demand and growth in visitation,” Kay said.
Lead image: Tulsa, Oklahoma (supplied)