Australia’s economy weathered the global financial crisis better than most western nations. The unprecedented strength of the Australian dollar and good deals on airfare due to increasing competition between airlines provides Alberta with a great opportunity to attract visitors from this market. Air Canada has announced plans to increase services to Vancouver, and WestJet’s new codeshare arrangement with Qantas will provide convenient connections and more competitive pricing via Vancouver, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Most of Canada’s product strengths work well for Alberta in this market, but lack of awareness beyond the Rocky Mountains remains a key opportunity. Competing national tourism offices are targeting Australian consumers and flights to the U.S. are more affordable. While air access from Australia to Alberta is adequate overall, there are no direct flights into Calgary or Edmonton.
We will leverage our partnership with the CTC and Tourism British Columbia in our marketing programs for Australia. Consumer campaigns will lead with Canadian Rockies messaging and differentiate Alberta through our new brand assets. Alberta’s signature experiences will be associated with value added offers to capture the consumer’s attention and encourage prompt bookings. Dual-nation vacations are popular for Australian long-haul travellers, so packages may incorporate U.S. destinations to significantly lower airfare costs. Integrating travel trade programs and developing joint marketing agreements to incorporate new Alberta products each season will amplify our campaigns.
An Australian-specific website and the launch of an Australian version of the Alberta Specialist Program will help inform and educate consumers and travel professionals on Alberta product. Public relations and media activities will support Alberta’s signature experiences aligned with the CTC and the Canada’s West program to leverage partnership spending through broadcast opportunities. We will also work to heighten our presence and profile through social media outreach in Australia.