Queensland Rail Travel has set its sights on cracking the lucrative North American travel market with the appointment of experienced tourism specialist, Luke Jones, to handle promotion on the continent.
Jones, who has over 14 years’ experience in tourism marketing and management, primarily with Tourism Australia, will take on the role through his company Advocate Travel Marketing.
Queensland Rail Travel general manager, Max Kruse, said working with Advocate Travel would give the organisation a much better chance of snaring holiday makers primarily from the USA and Canada.
“The North American market is vital to growing the number of international tourists using our services,” Kruse said.
“Both the USA and Canada are massive markets and they offer us enormous opportunities to grow the business.
“Getting international visitors to experience some of our amazing tourist destinations by rail is great for the state and Queensland Rail Travel, so to have someone the calibre of Luke Jones looking after our interests in those markets is vitally important.”
During his time at Tourism Australia, Jones held posts including manager Canada and partnership marketing director, the Americas.
His experience in the tourism sector includes consumer communications, distribution development, MICE, strategic planning, and partnership building with government and commercial sector interests.
Based in Los Angeles, Jones said it will be vital to raise awareness of Queensland Rail Travel’s brand in the North American marketplace.
“We need to get the Queensland Rail Travel product asked for more by consumers and pitched for more by agents when planning their client’s next trip to Australia,” he explained.
“Currently, only a small fraction of North Americans experience the wonders of Queensland by rail, which represents a significant growth opportunity for Queensland Rail Travel in this market.
“Queensland Rail Travel offers access to all the iconic Queensland experiences that North Americans seek, at a pace and comfort level these affluent travellers desire.
“The great potential of the North American market will be realised through strong PR and partner marketing campaigns that educate consumers on how to enhance their Queensland experience with rail.
“Targeted trade development and incentive programs will ensure that when a customer asks for Queensland, they are offered and sold the Queensland Rail Travel experience.”
Australia attracts around 200,000 travellers from the USA and Canada each year.