McEvoy hints at Qantas own goal

McEvoy hints at Qantas own goal
By admin

Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy has used the organisation's newsletter to suggest Qantas has shot itself in the foot by withdrawing marketing support from the agency.

While carefully worded in part – describing Qantas as a "friend" to tourism and as a colleague and partner of Tourism Australia – McEvoy said in the weekly update to 12,000 industry subscribers that Qantas will lose out by pulling its support.

He added it would be "shame" if Qantas and Jetstar were not part of TA's marketing plans after June 30 and branded the spat an "unhelpful distraction".

"But it would not just be a shame for Australian tourism. It's been a 40-year relationship built on mutual benefit," McEvoy wrote. "As good a friend as Qantas is, they don't enter into a relationship like this as a ‘sponsorship' or ‘grant'. It's a commercially based joint venture that helps Australia convert more consumers to travel and puts bums in Qantas seats."

The partnership has been a "classic win win", he said, with Qantas sharing in the benefits of jointly funded campaigns.

McEvoy acknowledged Qantas's reassurance that money will be redirected to states and territories, but he declared that such a splintered approach to marketing and promotion was not in the best interests of tourism.

"The irony is that in the past 18 months Tourism Australia has worked extremely hard with the states and territories to adopt a ‘one voice' approach in taking our message overseas under the banner There's nothing like Australia," he said. "Australian tourism is most effective when we work collectively with common purpose.

"This is all an unhelpful distraction for an industry which has been performing far better in recent times with both international and domestic tourism growing."

TA "remained open to discussions" with Qantas, McEvoy added.

He also described reports that suggested Chinese arrivals would be hit as a result of the row as "amazing".

Much of the capacity growth in recent times has been driven by Chinese carriers which TA has deals with, he said.

Meanwhile, talks between TA and Virgin – which has been in touch with McEvoy since the Qantas split emerged – are ongoing.




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