07 Feb 2014 10:00
Tourism Australia today announced Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, as its gold airline partner for the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE14), Australia’s largest annual travel and tourism business-to-business event taking place for the first time this year in Cairns.
ATE14 will see around 600 ‘buyer’ delegates from 38 countries and
approximately 1,200 Australian ‘seller’ delegates converge in Cairns,
Queensland from 11 – 15 May 2014, the first time the event will be held in a
regional destination in its 35-year history.
The Abu Dhabi-based airline will provide return flights for
international buyer delegates from UK, Europe, Singapore and the Middle East,
including connections onto its alliance partner Virgin Australia's domestic
flights to Cairns.
Today’s announcement follows the signing in late 2012 of a A$6m,
three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two parties, helping
to grow international visitors to Australia from the UK, Europe and the Middle
Tourism Australia Acting Managing Director, Frances-Anne Keeler,
said Etihad Airways’ award-winning service and extensive international network
made it an ideal airline partner for ATE14.
"Etihad Airways may be one of the world's youngest
full-service airlines, but it has quickly established itself as a high quality airline
with a strong commitment to Australian tourism, the latest example being the
airline's new Perth service beginning in July 2014.
"The MoU we signed over a year ago has significantly
increased awareness of Australia amongst Etihad Airways’ large worldwide
customer base and, more importantly, boosted traffic from some of our key
inbound markets. This sponsorship deal represents a strong platform for
further, mutually beneficial activities which I'm sure ATE14 will
deliver," she said.
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer of Etihad
Airways said: “Etihad Airways is pleased to be investing in the future of
Australian tourism by supporting ATE for the first time in 2014.
“The Australian route is one of the most important in our global
network and its performance is bolstered by the strong appeal of Australia as a
destination for travellers, particularly from the UK, Ireland, Europe and
emerging markets in the Middle East.
“The partnership with Tourism Australia for ATE14 is a logical
extension of the MoU we signed in 2012 and underscores Etihad Airways’ enduring
commitment to Australia and its contribution to the Australian economy and
community life through partnerships with Sydney Opera House and Etihad Stadium,
to name but a few.
“ATE14 gives us the opportunity to showcase the quality of our
guest experience to a whole new group of travel media and industry stakeholders
and demonstrate the reach of our global network plus the convenience and
efficiency of our modern Abu Dhabi hub.”