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In 2019/20, we continued to work with partners to increase our target customer reach and yield, increase investment in promoting Australia, enable conversion to booking, overcome destination complexity challenges, and facilitate industry development. These partnerships help bolster our marketing efforts around the globe. With the onset of the Australian bushfires in December/January and border closures due to the worsening COVID-19 pandemic most partners ceased proactive marketing activity.

Our partnership strategy is based on alignment with our high value traveller target audience and market portfolio, in addition to leveraging growth opportunities for Australia. Our strategy involves: working with commercial partners that enable us to engage and convert target customers; extending campaigns through partnerships with states and territories; and working with airlines, airports and states and territories to sustain existing aviation capacity and develop new routes. In the second half of 2019/20, our partnership strategy reverted to supporting key business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C) partners with little or no campaign activity due to border closures. International teams are maintaining relationships and forward planning for when borders reopen, and markets recover.

In the second half of 2019/20, partnership contributions to marketing fell to $34.6 million (from $52 million in 2018/19) due to pausing campaigns that had been planned for the period of January to June 2020 and diminished partnership activity due to the global pandemic. Airlines, normally our largest partners, contributed only 11 per cent of this partnership revenue (29 per cent in 2018/19).

The Tourism Australia Aviation Strategy team, formed in April 2020, will be focused on route restoration and airline support to lead recovery efforts.