There's Nothing Like Australia

with Caroline Booth

Robert Keddy  & Julie Earle-Levine, Tourism Australia

Chris Allison, Air New Zealand with Helen & Elia

Economy Skycouch™

Premium Economy Spaceseat

Aly Evraire & Zarir Irani, Pacesetter Travel

The Pleased To Seat You Tour bus

What better way to welcome the new autumn season than mingling with friendly company on a warm evening at the funky Airship37 event venue in Toronto’s Distillery District. This was the scene last week when Tourism Australia invited its travel partners to meet the team and learn about what’s new in the land down under.

“Cheers to everybody!” said Robert Keddy, Head of Commercial Partnerships, The Americas Tourism Australia. Referencing the Canadian market, Keddy was pleased to report that after a challenging year in 2013-14, 2015 has seen positive growth (up 5.8%) with 142,600 arrivals. More important in terms of numbers, is the total market spend which is up 12% and the total target customer spend which is up 16%, all thanks to the combined efforts of its partners. Cheers indeed!

When questioned about Canada’s relationship with Australia, Keddy replied that Canadians have an affinity with the country because of the Commonwealth. Canadians go to Australia because they see it as a value destination that is safe and offers experiences such as food and wine, culture, beaches and coastal. According to Keddy, Canadians are not deterred by long haul destinations and usually stay longer than our American counterparts. A typical trip will average just over 16 days. Canadians are also adventurous and curious and will venture into areas less travelled by visitors such as the Western regions, the Red Centre and Norther Territory in addition to the more popular city destinations. 

To make the journey a little easier Keddy announced that AC will begin non-stop flights from YVR to BNE 3 times a week starting June 17 th operated with a 787 aircraft.

For the remainder of 2015 and into 2016 Tourism Australia will continue to entice visitors with campaigns revolving around Restaurant Australia food and wine experiences. Campaigns will also highlight culture and Indigenous events, and 2016 will focus on themes of coastal beaches and aquatic. Those familiar with the work of broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough may be interested to know that he recently visited the Great Barrier Reef for the 1st time in 60 years and has made a documentary that shows off the Reef in ways never seen before. Dates for the Canadian release are to be determined and definitely something to look out for. 

Also present this evening were the friendly folks from Air New Zealand. Guests were offered an exclusive preview of the airline’s new Economy Skycouch™ and Premium Economy Spaceseat. But how does one try out seats on a plane without the plane? By getting on a bus of course! Parked outside the front door of Airpship37 was a custom designed and decorated tour bus where guests could get on and get comfy. Toronto was the 3 rd stop of NZ’s North American Pleased To Seat You Tour that started in YVR and is currently winding its way through the U.S. with HOU as its final destination.

Starting 25OCT pax will get to try the real thing on the newly refurbished Boeing 777-200 flight from YVR to AKL. NZ has increased capacity by 10% for YVR’s Winter and Summer itineraries.

The airline is currently in year 2 of a 3  year partnership with Tourism Australia. Keep an eye out at the beginning of October for a coop campaign featuring 1 great price to 6 Australian gateways including Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Cairns Adelaide and The Gold Coast. The launch of the campaigns 2 nd phase will take place in spring of 2016.

Last but not least for an evening chock full of news and updates was the announcement that the much anticipated new Aussie Specialist Programwebsite is now live. The site features responsive design, a new interactive map, a “my sales tool” feature and new qualifications badges. Be sure to check it out. 

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