TOURISM AUSTRALIA signed a strategic marketing deal with Cathay Pacific Airways to promote Australia to high-yielding business events groups from Greater China.
China is a key source market for Australian business events, particularly for the corporate incentive market, with Australia welcoming 10,000 business events travellers in 2017, contributing AU$591 million (US$430.3m), according to the national tourism body.
The deal follows similar agreements between Tourism Australia and carriers such as Singapore Airlines in which an airline’s reach into China and flight connections from its home hub are leveraged to bring more incentive and corporate meeting groups to Australia.
The three-year memorandum of understanding, signed in Beijing by Tourism Australia managing director John O’Sullivan and Edward Bell general manager of marketing for Cathay Pacific, will see the two organisations collaborate to grow the business events segment of the visitor market.
O’Sullivan said the national tourism body had enjoyed a long and prosperous partnership with Cathay Pacific to bring more Chinese visitors to Australia.
“Our organisations have a strong history of working together in different markets across the globe to make the dream of visiting Australia a reality for leisure and business visitors,” he said.
“This is the first time however we have a three-year commitment to specifically focus on strengthening the business events opportunity for Australia in China.
“Cathay Pacific Airways already knows the richness and abundance of Australia tourism products available to visitors and now combining that with our world-class business events facilities and services, we have the ideal making of Australia as the top choice for business events.”
Under the new agreement, the two parties will develop a range of business events campaigns and promotional activities within Greater China, targeting MICE agents and corporate buyers.
In addition to its international network and flights into mainland China, Cathay Pacfic and Cathay Dragon also operate routes to Taiwan.
*Another MoU, this time with China Southern Airlines, was announced by Tourism Australia on September 17.
Additional reporting by Martin Donovan