Tourism Australia Welcomes V Australia Announcement

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31st March 2008, 05:28pm - Views: 954
Tourism Australia Welcomes V Australia Announcement

31 March 2008 (Sydney) - Today's announcement by V Australia Chairman Sir Richard Branson heralds a new era in which Australia's vast tourism potential in the US market may finally be realised, Tourism Australia Managing Director Geoff Buckley said today.

"For close on twenty years Australia has been Americans' dream holiday destination," Mr Buckley said. "And while the US is our fourth largest tourism market, it still has enormous untapped potential.

"The launch of V Australia, which will likely bring new, low priced air capacity onto the trans- Pacific route will enable more Americans than ever to make their dream of Australia a reality.

"This is welcome news for Australian tourism and we look forward to working with V Australia to promote Australian holidays to US travellers," Mr Buckley said.

Mr Buckley said while air capacity on the route had been growing steadily over recent years load factors were around 80 per cent meaning individual travellers and groups were limited by the availability of seats on the days they need to travel, and the price of seats available to them.

"While recent years have seen Qantas lift its capacity on the route significantly, and introduce direct services between Los Angeles and Brisbane and Melbourne, the popularity of these services has simply served to highlight the extraordinary opportunities which have been missed by other airlines," Mr Buckley said.

Over the two years 2008 and 2009 Tourism Australia expects an additional increase of 23 percent, with 15 percent of that growth delivered by V Australia.

The US is one of Australia's top sources of international tourists delivering 460,000 American visitors in 2007, worth $2.08 billion.

"Today's announcement by V Australia of daily direct services between Sydney and Los Angeles as its inaugural trans-Pacific route is expected to deliver an additional 50,000 visitors a year which is great news for Australian tourism," Mr Buckley said.

"Tourism Australia looks forward to further announcements by V Australia of additional services between the US and other Australian ports so many more Americans can make Australia the destination for their next holiday."

For further information contact:
Kim Moore, Tourism Australia, on (02) 9361 1306 or 0419 165 562
Rachel Crowley, Tourism Australia, on (02) 9361 1319 or 0418 208 576

SOURCE: Tourism Australia
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