AOT BUYS STAKE IN DOWN UNDER ANSWERS
17th of November, 2009
The AOT Group today announced it had made a strategic investment into Seattle based wholesaler Down Under Anwers (“DUA”), one of the major operators from the US to Australia and the Pacific.
AOT Group CEO Andrew Burnes said the investment was part of a strategy to build closer links to key partners in certain markets and that the DUA investment would allow AOT and DUA to benefit in the inevitable upswing in the US market from 2010 and beyond.
“With four major carriers now flying across the Pacific both the capacity and fares on the North American route have never been better and I firmly believe the US market for Australia and the Pacific will improve dramatically from 2010. Despite the rise in the value of the Australian dollar against the greenback, what’s driving Americans to come to Australia are the sensational airfares, natural attractions and unique experiences that we have to offer. Even at parity, Australia is still very competitive compared to many other parts of the world given our relatively low hotel rates and very competitive car hire and touring prices. And our natural attractions are priceless” said Mr Burnes.
DUA was established in 1994 in Seattle by Kirk Demeter and over the last 15 years has grown to become one of the largest wholesalers to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific from the US. Based in Seattle and selling to retail agents and consumers right across the USA, DUA offers FIT, Group and incentive programs to over 15,000 passengers per annum visiting the region.
“DUA has worked with AOT for many years and we see this new partnership as vital to ensuring we have the right systems, content, pricing and availability for our clients as well as ensuring they get the best on the ground service in Australia and the Pacific when they travel” said DUA founder and President, Kirk Demeter.
“Together with Tourism Australia and the State Tourism organisations, DUA is working to develop the US market to Australia and we’ve seen some very positive signs in the last month for all of our key destinations in the South Pacific. Australia is still seen as a niche destination for many Americans but with Delta now joining United on the route together with Qantas and V-Australia it’s suddenly dawning that Australia is becoming a mainstream destination for Americans and we’re poised to now grow the market to Australia and the South Pacific given this capacity surge across the Pacific” said Mr Demeter.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
- Andrew Burnes, CEO, AOT Group + 61 3 9867-7233
- Kirk Demeter, President, DUA + 1 425 968-8783