A NEW partnership between Qantas and Emirates is set to boost local tourism with international bookings opening in Gladstone and other Queensland locations.
Emirates has started selling airfares to Gladstone, Bundaberg, Brisbane, Cairns, Hervey Bay, Mackay, Gold Coast, Rockhampton and Townsville for visitors from the United Kingdom, Europe, North Africa, South East Asia and the Middle East.
Qantas International chief executive officer Simon Hickey said the partnership meant local customers could expect shorter travel times, cheaper airfares and exclusive frequent flyer benefits.
He said because the partnership included tapping into Qantas domestic network, towns outside Australia's capital cities also stood to benefit from the tourism generated by the partnership.
"The partnership between Qantas and Emirates means that Emirates international customers are now able to purchase airfares on the biggest network of Australian destinations," Mr Hickey said.
"Tourism is a huge economic driver for Australia, creating jobs and promoting investment and development.
"This partnership will make travel within Australia easier for visitors and provide tourism operators new opportunities to capitalise on international tourists visiting the country."
Qantas and Emirates are developing marketing campaigns to promote the new joint network that will run in Australian and international markets, and will be working closely with state-based tourism bodies to profile destinations.
Details are still being finalised and remain subject to government approval, but customers can book on the joint network for travel after March 31 via Qantas.com or their travel agent.