TA-Jetstar Link to Focus on Japanese First Timers

Australia will target Japanese tourists who have never flown outside their homeland before in a new post-tsunami tourism campaign.

Tourism Australia has announced it will team up with low-cost carrier Jetstar for the three-year $10 million campaign begin will begin with Japan before targeting other Asian nations such as China.

The number of Japanese visitors to Australia has been falling for several years and dropped by about a third following the March tsunami and earthquake. But in the past month it has bounced back to just below pre-tsunami levels. It has slipped from Australia’s second to fifth largest source market for international tourists over the past ten years.

As part of the campaign, people will be encouraged to book flights on through initiatives such as Tourism Australia’s There’s Nothing Like Australia campaign.

TA boss Andrew McEvoy said people loved the concept of Australia but his organisation needed to create a sense of urgency. “There’s a lot of pent-up demand for Australia but we need to create urgency to actually get them to book and to come,” he said. “We think Jetstar will put some great price pressure into the market.”

Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan said 25% of customers in Jetstar’s market had never flown internationally before.

“We’re appealing to a new section of the marketplace,” he said. “We would like to see a doubling of the inbound market over the next 10 years.”

Jetstar began flying between Japan and Australia in 2007 and will begin domestic services within Japan late next year. Jetstar Japan will also fly to Korea, China, Hong and other short-haul destinations.

Japanese visitors spent about $1.5 billion in Australia in 2010. There were 350,200 visitor arrivals from Japan for the year ending August 2011, a drop of 11%.

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