Australian tourism industry leaders met in person with US travel agencies and tour operators this week to promote Australia as a key tourist destination on Australia Marketplace North America. It was the first time the event was held in the region since 2019.
Around 200 buyers and sellers attended the two-day event, hosted by Tourism Australia at the Westdrift Hotel Manhattan Beach in Los Angeles from August 7-9.
“It was an opportunity to remind the United States and Canada that Australia is open for business and there’s never been a better time to ‘Come Say G’Day,'” Chris said. Allison, Tourism Australia’s Regional General Manager for North America.
“The event has attracted key tourism leaders from the United States and Australia and the relationships and future business it creates will be vital to Australia’s tourism industry in the future.”
Among those top US executives were Travel Answers Group Chairman Kirk Demeter; Signature Travel Network President Alex Sharpe; Charlene Leiss, president of Flight Center Americas; Travel Corp Chairman Brett Tollman; and Dave Thomas, Qantas Vice President of North American Sales.
Australian tourism leaders who traveled to the event included Experience Co CEO John O’Sullivan; Matt Cameron-Smith, CEO of Voyages Tourisme Aboriginal; Kate Shilling, CEO of Ultimate Winery Experiences; YHA CEO, Paul McGrath; Baillie Lodges COO, Craig Bradber; and Virtuoso Senior Vice President Michael Londregan.
Australian Trade and Tourism Minister Don Farrell attended the opening of the event. He underlined the importance of the US market to Australia and said he looked forward to supporting the recovery of this important industry.
“The United States was Australia’s third largest source market for international visits and second most valuable for spending, with 818,000 Americans traveling to Australia in 2019 and spending $3.9 billion,” he said. declared.
“As Minister of Trade and Tourism, I look forward to doing all I can to help the industry recover after a difficult few years.
“The Albanian government is committed to helping Australia’s tourism industry return to the economic powerhouse we know and making sure the world knows Australia is open for business.”
As the industry emerges from the pandemic, Tourism Australia chief executive Phillipa Harrison said the relationship between Australia and the United States is more important than ever.
“Australia Marketplace offers our tour operators the opportunity to build business relationships with key qualified travel agencies and tour operators across North America,” she said.
“These connections are so vital to Australia’s tourism industry, as we seek to rebuild after being one of the hardest hit sectors by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We know the recovery will take time, but we want to get back to those pre-COVID levels as quickly as possible and North America will play a pivotal role in that. In 2019, Australia welcomed over one million visitors from the United States and Canada.
Tourism Australia is planning Australia Marketplace events in other key tourism markets, including Japan and South Korea in September and the UK and Europe in November.