Friday, August 14, 2009

AA Tourism Expands to Oz

AA Tourism GM, Pete Blackwell ponders increased trans-Tasman travel

At Motella, we have been aware for some time that AA Tourism have been in discussions with their Australian cousins with the view to join forces.

It was finally announced yesterday that the New Zealand Automobile Association and Australian Automobile Clubs are to combine their tourism publishing and media businesses.

The partnership will be based in Auckland and AA Tourism's current charismatic head, Pete Blackwell will be appointed Chief Executive.

From a New Zealand prospective we can be proud that AA Tourism has been able to achieve a position of strength by the efficiencies and innovation of its New Zealand operations. Overall we can see that this partnership will be beneficial to AA's numerous tourism clients that will now be able to be hotwired into the Australian market.

It will not be plain sailing combining and managing the two operations. Many New Zealand businesses have tried and failed to grasp the culture of doing business trans-Tasman. There will be snags along the way.

From a parochial, self-interest point of view, we wish AA all the best. We are excited by the new economies of scale and the marketing opportunities that can now be made available to Kiwi tourism businesses.

Pete Blackwell announces the NZ & Oz partnership:
"Like you, I am sure I have been planning for the past few months with a sense of uncertainty, but with a belief that we have a robust industry and that there are great opportunities available for businesses that are brave and have the strategy and skills to take advantage of them.

Today I want to share with you a major change in our business, a change brought on by my desire to make our business stronger and by the need to deliver more business to you, our customers.

Today I have announced to my team, and now you, that the New Zealand Automobile Association and Australian Automobile Clubs are to combine their respective tourism marketing, web and guides operations, forming the South Pacific region's leading tourism publishing and media business. This is a complete business partnership, integrating staff, systems, marketing and distribution. The new business will be New Zealand-based and involves no job losses here at AA Tourism.

So what does it mean for you and why should you care?

Firstly, AA Tourism as you know it remains, and all the people you deal with will still be here.

However, there are 6.5 million members of the autoclubs in Australia and that becomes an audience we can talk to, an audience who will now have our Hot Deals come through their inbox and for whom you can now reach and talk to through their own websites and publications.

We are still working on all the details and when we can we will share with you the individual opportunities you have to reach our biggest international market. The good news is we will be taking all the great content of New Zealand across the ditch and our 101 Must-Do's programme will be targeted to the Aussies.

There remains no doubt that domestic tourism is a priority for me, but I know that Australia is a priority for you. I look forward to bringing my passion and my energy to Australia and through our great product, incisive marketing and our focus on the customer, will push more business through your front door.

See you on the road!

Source: Click HERE

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