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$50m deal to lure US tourists takes off

- ROBYN IRONSIDE NATIONAL TRAVEL WRITER

AMERICAN tourists will be the main target of a new $50 million marketing deal by Virgin Australia and Tourism Australia.

The airline and national tourism authority are banking on considerab­le growth in US visitors to Australia due to the weaker currency.

In the past year, US travellers to Australia increased 10 per cent to 553,000 and the new partnershi­p aims to maximise that growth.

TA managing director John O’Sullivan said the five-year deal was the largest commercial arrangemen­t they had ever entered into with an airline, and built on the existing threeyear partnershi­p with Virgin.

Earlier this year the two organisati­ons paired up to promote Australia and transPacif­ic flights on Virgin in the lead up to the Oscars’ ceremony. Mr O’Sullivan said the new agreement would build on the “great work” they’d done together in the US.

Virgin Australia CEO John Borghetti said the deal would help market Australia to the world.

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