Tourism Australia reports it has signed a new, A$9 million ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ (MOU) with STA Travel, a major travel retailer, to promote youth travel to Australia, including many of Australia’s largest inbound tourism markets.
The three year agreement will build upon a number of successful recent collaborations between the two parties, notably Tourism Australia’s ‘Best Jobs in the World’ competition, which has already resulted in significant increases in the sale of STA Travel youth holiday packages to Australia, Tourism Australia said.
The deal will see the two partners work closely to promote travel to Australia from a number of key international markets, including the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the United States, Japan and Singapore, as well as domestic travel within Australia.
The deal between Tourism Australia and STA Travel was signed in London by Tourism Australia’s new Regional General Manager for the UK, Denise Von Wald and STA Travel CEO John Constable.
The signing of the agreement coincides with the start of the World Youth Student Travel Conference (WYSTC) in Sydney, involving more than 800 delegates from 80 countries who offer products or services to teenagers or travelers in their teens, 20s and early 30s.
Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy said that the tie up with STA Travel was supported by a recent review of how Australian tourism is distributed internationally, which had identified opportunities through new industry partnerships.
“Up to now, most of our major strategic marketing agreements have been with airlines, so this deal marks a significant and very positive step towards broadening the international marketing and distribution of Australian holidays,” McEvoy said.
He said STA Travel’s strong, respected brand and worldwide network of more than 400 stores across 85 countries provided a powerful distribution platform to market Australia overseas.
“The success of our recent collaboration on ‘Best Jobs in the World’ has already demonstrated strong commercial results, and we hope to see this performance continue as we formalize and further extend our partnership with STA Travel,” he added.
STA Travel developed a global campaign to encourage entries into Tourism Australia’s ‘Best Jobs in the World’ competition. This, together with tactical programs, saw year on year sales increase 100 percent in the United States, 42 percent in Germany and 17 percent in the UK. They also reported a 180 percent increase in website traffic and online queries.
STA Travel CEO John Constable said: “Australia is a core part of STA Travel’s business and whilst the short term partnership agreements have delivered strong results, we see a longer term approach as much more beneficial to driving more youth business to Australia.”
Youth is an important target market for Australian tourism, Tourism Australia says, currently representing 26 percent (1.6m) of all international visitors to Australia each year. Importantly, youth travelers tend to stay longer, spend more and disperse more widely throughout the country than most other target segments. On average, youth travelers (15 -29 years old) spend A$7,277 per trip in Australia.
Tourism Australia and STA Travel will collaborate on a range of co-operative marketing activities, such as advertising, consumer promotions, digital marketing, public relations, social media and consumer shows.
Tourism is Australia's largest export earner and in 2011/12, generated A$96 billion in spending and 2.8 percent of Australia’s total GDP.