Tourism Australia has announced Etihad Airways as its gold airline partner for the Australian Tourism Exchange, 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 May 11th–15th 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. The announcement follows the signing in late 2012 of a A$6m, three-year Memorandum of Understanding between the two parties, helping to grow international visitors to Australia from the UK, Europe and the Middle East.
Etihad president James Hogan 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.”