Tourism Australia reports strong numbers, capacity and a new specialist program
Julie Earle-Levine, PR Manager, North America, Tourism Australia; Robert Keddy, Head of Commercial Partnerships, the Americas at Tourism Australia; Paul Larcher, Account Director, VoX International; Sue Webb, President, VoX International; Chris Allison, Manager, Sales and Market Development Canada, Air New Zealand; Ernst Flach, Regional Director, The Americas, South Australia Tourism Commission.

Tourism Australia reports increased arrivals, capacity and a new specialist program

TORONTO — Tourism Australia hosted the travel trade last night at an industry update, reporting strong numbers, new capacity and a new specialist program.

In June 2015 arrivals were up 5.8% and tourism spend was up 12%, showing that a focus on affluent 45+ year olds is paying off with more profitable tourists visiting the country.

The tourism board will look to attract this audience with campaigns focusing on Food & Wine from September to November, and then a switch to a Coastal & Beaches campaign in January and February. Both Air New Zealand and Air Canada will be doing co-op campaigns to help support this messaging.

Capacity from Canada to New Zealand has been stagnant in recent years, but Tourism Australia was excited to announce that with new routes from Air New Zealand and Air Canada, capacity would be on the rise. ANZ will be increasing its capacity by 10% with new routes from Vancouver in October as well the new Houston gateway opening up more options.

The presentation concluded with a surprise announcement of the launch of the revamped Aussie Specialist Program. ‘We have been working on the update of the Aussie Specialist Program for a year and half and it launched today’, announced Robert Keddy, Head of Commercial Partnerships, Tourism Australia, Americas. ‘It’s a little late, we were hoping it was going to launch in August, but we are very excited that it went live this morning.’

“Twenty-five years a go when we launched this program we had trainers running around with VHS tapes to train agents on Australia. It became one of the premier programs in the industry but unfortunately we felt over the past couple of years we have not kept up with the technological changes.”

The new program  is now mobile and tablet friendly, with interactive maps and the ability to create sales tools.

Agents can register at aussiespecialist.com.