You might imagine that with the return on investment tourism authorities are looking for from sailing events, there would be more end-to-end thinking about how to link travel with sailing. In reality, even though the name of the host-city is on the website or the bow or the spinnaker, there is almost no joined up thinking between event promoters and tourism promoters to actually convert the interest in the event into hotel bed nights or spending in local restaurants.
The Perth 2011 ISAF World Championships have announced a partnership with QANTAS holidays. According to the statement:
Travel and accommodation sporting packages in Perth for the ISAF Sailing World Championships in December have become much easier to book… Travellers to Perth will be able to book accommodation, flights and membership packages through Qantas Holidays, with the company being the Official Travel Partner of the Perth 2011 World Championships.
It’s a great idea, and more sailing events really should be working more closely with their partners and travel affiliates to help fans and visitors attend the event. In reality, this deal, as far as we can make out, means that QANTAS will sell VIP hospitality tickets ranging in price from $AUD 280 (Crew Club) to $AUD 1013 (John Bertrand Club Membership). This is confirmed by the statement released – Perth 2011 Chief Operating Officer, Darren Beazley, welcomed the participation of Qantas Holidays as a benefit to visitors coming to Perth, saying:
“Qantas Holidays will help raise awareness of our exciting John Bertrand, Gold Medal and Crew Clubs, which give members a range of access and other privileges during the event.”
The site navigation from a visitor to the Perth 2011 website goes like this: Homepage -> About WA -> Getting to Western Australia -> QANTAS Australia Homepage. If you then search a little around the QANTAS website you can eventually find the page where they are selling the tickets, but they are not attached to any travel products.
The site navigation should go: Homepage -> deep-link to QANTAS Perth 2011 travel packages.
The official statement ends:
The dream begins in Perth, the journey begins with Qantas Holidays. For more information, call Qantas Holidays on 13 14 15 to book membership and accommodation packages.
So we did…
Calling QANTAS Holidays (From London), we got exactly what we expected. The incredibly professional folks didn’t have any information to hand and hadn’t been briefed – but that’s not their fault. They were happy to go and find out all they could about the deal.
For international visitors, the process is not straightforward. A bit of research by one of QANTAS’ super-friendly people suggests that the packages are on the Australian systems and not easily offered to international travelers. They are going to get back to us with more details.
If events like this are actually going to deliver tourism, and not just have it as a headline, then different parts of the supply chain need to work more closely together.
More Sailing Tourism News…
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