Qantas signs tourism deal with NT

Airline adds to partnerships with NSW, Qld; outstrips initially planned TA spend.

Qantas Airways Ltd has added a deal with the Northern Territory to its growing list of tourism partnerships with state governments, The Australian Financial Review reports.

According to the newspaper, the $7 million agreement now brings the airline's total tourism spending over three years to $49 million dollars across NT, New South Wales and Queensland, above the $44 million originally planned for a Tourism Australia deal.

Relations between Qantas chief executive officer Alan Joyce and his former boss, Tourism Australia chairman Geoff Dixon, have been strained after Mr Dixon and other high-profile investors bought Qantas shares in an attempt to influence the airline, the AFR reports.

NT Tourism Minister Matt Conlan expected the marketing partnership – the biggest in the territory's history – would attract 1.7 million visitors annually by 2010, the newspaper reports.