Mayday Project: Fly Free to Australia And Spend Our Money... Please
In an attempt to rouse the tourism industry in Australia from its slumber, the Australian Federal Government is due to soon implement "Mayday Project", a provisional plan to offer free air fares paid for by the Australian Government to boost tourism in view of the industry taking a remarkable hit by the decrease of tourists compared to last year.
The downside? Those willing to take the offer will be required to spend around AU$5000 (£2500) within the country to bolster local shops, hotels and restaurants.
As Times Online pointed out just yesterday, a flight from London to Sydney or Perth via Qantas has been reduced to £499 with Qantas (via Trailfinders; 0845 050 5892), while you could also fly via AirAsia from Stansted to Perth with a stopover in Kuala Lumpur for under £200, raising whether this is really a hot or cold deal.
Independent Tourism Holdings' Australian Innovation Director (we need one of those), Mr. Glenn Millen, who came up with the idea and said that the money could be redirected from the Government's pre-existing tourism marketing budget:
"We can really limit the impact of the recessionary slide on tourism through this. We can try and hold the numbers that we were at and that would be a really good scenario or, if there is a Santa Claus, we might increase the numbers against the trend."
Millen said Tourism Queensland's "Best Job In The World" promotion has already generated $70 million in free publicity, an example he said of the type of innovative tourism project that succeeded during tough economic times. The Government is expecting the same degree of positive reaction from tourists whose disposable incomes has lessen due to the economic crisis around the world.
What do you think? Is a free flight down south worth the pledge to splurge $5,000 on hotels and restaurants?