ATC, United Tout Road Trips

The Australian Tourist Commission and United Airlines introduced an array of fly-drive packages, promoting them on a page of the ATC Web site.

By: David Peterkofsky

The Australian Tourist Commission and United Airlines introduced an array of fly-drive packages, promoting them on a page of the ATC Web site.

The promotion, featuring 10- to 15-day packages, stands at the center of a $1.35 million advertising and marketing campaign, said Michael Londregan, vice president for the Americas at the ATC. The campaign will also encompass print and television advertising, the distribution of brochures, and e-mail and direct-mail marketing.

Historically a tougher sell for U.S. travelers wary of driving on the opposite side of the road, fly-drive tours offer a way for Americans to “explore the real Australia,” Londregan said. “Many new and authentic experiences are to be had outside the main cities and driving through the country’s regional areas.”

The featured packages start at $1,299 per person, including roundtrip from Los Angeles, accommodations and car rental, and are valid for travel through March 2003. The packages offer accommodations ranging from standard to luxury, as well as add-on day tours.

Available plans include the following:

"The 15-day Ultimate Road Trip, priced from $1,299 per person, double, lets travelers map out their own route between Sydney and Melbourne, either through mountain forests or along the Pacific coast.

The package includes a five-day Budget car rental; four nights in Sydney and four nights in Melbourne, as well as a four-night pass redeemable for book-as-you go accommodations en route.

"The 13-day Scenic Journey, priced from $1,450, takes in both the rugged scenery of New South Wales’ Blue Mountains and the coast via Australia’s famed Great Ocean Road in Victoria.

"The 15-day City & Countryside program, starting at $1,490, takes in the countryside of New South Wales and Victoria along with Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra.

Travelers drive up the coast to the Hunter Valley wine region, ride the Scenic Railway or the Skyway cable car through the Blue Mountains’ forests and visit Parliament House and the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.

Prices on fly-drive packages increase if travelers select superior- or premier-class accommodations. Dates also dictate prices: the rate for the Ultimate Road Trip plan, for instance, starts at $1,299 per person, double, through Dec. 5, but it increases to $1,951 for departures Dec. 6-12 and $2,016 from Dec. 13-29.

Call 866-508-6483. Web site: united.australia.com.

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