Tourism Australia boss welcomes Virtuosos with open arms

"Australia is open and ready to welcome your guests," - Phillipa Harrison at VTW 2022

Phillipa Harrison, Tourism Australia

Delegates of Virtuoso Travel Week (VTW) were encouraged to keep Australia front of mind as a destination of choice for their high-net-worth-individual clients in an address by Tourism Australia’s Managing Director, Phillipa Harrison on Saturday afternoon.

Speaking to hundreds of Virtuoso attendees during a presentation in partnership with Tourism Western Australia, Harrison’s message was loud and clear – “Australia is open and ready to welcome your guests.”

“Boy have we missed you guys,” the Tourism Australia chief quipped.

Phillipa Harrison during her presentation at Virtuoso Travel Week, watched on by Tourism WA boss Carolyn Turnbull.

Harrison said throughout the pandemic which prevented inbound tourists from entering Australia for some 2 years, the tourism organsation had continued to uphold its key partnership with Virtuoso, during that time pivoting from an outbound-focused business to inbound and servicing travel advisors and partners at home.

“We have been working with you for many, many years and Virtuoso has been an incredibly important part of our work,” Harrison said.

“[It was] an incredible journey getting to know our local Virtuosos,” she remarked.

With Australia’s borders reopening to international tourism earlier this year, the tourism boss said the marketing brand was now concentrated on “working to keep the dream of an Australian holiday alive”.

Phillipa Harrison, Managing Director, Tourism Australia with Carolyn Turnbull, Managing Director, Tourism Western Australia

She used the stage at VTW to remind Virtuosos of some of the quintessential experiences that make a luxury holiday in Australia so unique,  from the stunning landscapes, breathtaking scenery, food and wine offering, ancient storytelling and tread-lightly, leave only footprints mentality.

Harrison also spoke of the efforts undertaken within the Australian hospitality segment, which bode well for inbound visitors.

“We haven’t been quiet. We have over 100 new hotels refurbished or new on the market and we have incredible experiences that are new and that speak to our wide open spaces, our landscapes and our food & wine.”

“But mostly, Australian luxury is about an industry and the whole country will welcome your guests with an incredibly warm welcome,” she stated.

“We just can’t wait to share it with you and your clients,” Harrison concluded.

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