WA inks $7m deal to join Qantas tourism push
Qantas will pour millions of dollars into Western Australia's tourism coffers, taking the amount it has devoted to publicising the states and territories to holidaymakers to about $28 million since the spat between chief executive Alan Joyce and his former mentor Geoff Dixon.
The airline announced on Wednesday that it had signed a $7.65 million deal with the West Australian government to market the state overseas and within Australia.
The funding contributions will be split between the airline and the state over three years.
Qantas has inked similar marketing deals with NSW, Queensland and the Northern Territory, and plans to sign up Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.
The airline's decision to funnel money to the states and territories rather than the country's peak tourism body, Tourism Australia, follows the breakdown in the once close relationship between Mr Joyce and Mr Dixon last year.
Mr Joyce has demanded his former mentor step aside as Tourism Australia chairman or dissociate himself from a group of high-profile investors who had been agitating for a change in strategic direction at Qantas.
Despite the group selling its small stake in Qantas in January for a tidy profit, neither the airline nor Mr Dixon and Tourism Australia have shown any sign of backing down.
Mr Joyce said the latest marketing deal would deliver large windfalls for Western Australia, particularly in encouraging foreigners to visit.
The agreement will focus on potential visitors from Britain, the US and Singapore, as well as domestic tourists.
WA Tourism Minister Liza Harvey said the deal would play an important role in the state's bid to increase the value of tourism in Western Australia from $7.5 billion to $12 billion by 2020.
The agreement will include international marketing campaigns.
So far, the states and territories have signed joint marketing deals totalling $56 million - about half of which is from the airline.
The largest agreement has been a $30 million deal between Qantas and NSW.
Tourism Australia has been making up for the loss of funds from Qantas by signing marketing deals with other airlines, including Virgin Australia, Etihad, Air New Zealand and Chinese carriers.