Qantas and Tourism Australia bury hatchet with $20m marketing deal

Qantas and Tourism Australia have finally patched up their differences and struck a $20m deal to market Australia around the world.

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In the first formal collaboration since the organisations fell out at the end of 2012, the agreement will see Qantas and TA embark on a three-year, digital-led push in the US, Asia, Europe and UK.

It will include data sharing in a bid to “better reach customers considering travelling to Australia”.

The deal ends four years of acrimony with a joint statement flagging it as a “new era of partnership”.

Qantas ended a long-standing commercial relationship with Tourism Australia after accusing then-T.A. chairman Geoff Dixon of plotting against the airline.

It said Dixon, a former Qantas chief executive, was part of a consortium that bought a small stake in the national carrier and looked to destabilise it under Alan Joyce, who succeeded Dixon at Qantas in 2008.

Qantas redirected all marketing funds away from TA to states and territories.

Joyce said it was now committed to working with TA again.

“Both Qantas and Tourism Australia want the same thing – a strong tourism industry that makes Australia the first choice for people all over the world,” he said. “With tourism both to and within Australia on the rise, it’s the ideal time for us to join forces again.”

“This new investment builds on the marketing we already do and our partnerships with state and territory governments to put Australia’s best foot forward.”

Tourism Australia managing director, John O’Sullivan, who joined the tourism agency 18 months after the split, said the deal “just makes sense”. 

Friends reunited: Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, left, with Tourism Australia MD John O'Sullivan

Friends reunited: Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, left, with Tourism Australia MD John O’Sullivan

The strained relationship began to thaw over the past 12 months with small-scale collaborationS on tactical campaigns in Japan and China, and also on the airline’s current on-board safety video.

The new deal will see Qantas and Tourism Australia share data, described by O’Sullivan as “particularly exciting”.

“[It will] allow us to be more efficient and effective with our advertising but also enables us to provide consumers with a much more relevant and personalised online experience,” he said.


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