THE narrative around vaccinations in Australia has shifted considerably over the last month, the product of Delta causing a greater sense of urgency across the country and lockdown fatigue well and truly setting in for the millions of Aussies affected. Efforts to get needles into the arms of as many people as possible to improve both health outcomes and facilitate travel freedoms have mobilised swiftly across the industry, with multiple campaigns rolling out to foster the ‘can do’ Aussie spirit of the nation. Tourism Australia launched the “It’s our best shot to travel” campaign, while the publisher of this masthead also played a part by rallying the troops around the “Give travel a shot” messaging.
While marketing efforts will continue to play a useful role in ensuring citizens see vaccination as a matter of civic duty, multiple brands in the local travel space have also been vocal about driving home this message. Qantas is one company that, to its credit, has led the charge from the early stages, with CEO Alan Joyce one of the first company executives to float the idea of mandatory vaccinations for customers back in November last year. Last month saw the carrier announce two major bits of vaccination policy, the first was to mandate that its customer-facing staff be double-jabbed by 15 November, the first major Australian public company to do so, and the second was to unveil a major vaccination incentive promotion.
Qantas’ mega prize draw will see 10 gifts given away to Aussies who enter the competition by presenting their vaccination documents. The winners will score a year’s worth of free flights to 60 destinations, including select overseas regions, free accommodation and free fuel. But the incentive doesn’t stop there, with frequent flyers able to choose from one of three gifts when they present their medical records as well, such as 1,000 Qantas points, 15 status credits or a $20 flight discount for Qantas or Jetstar flights. Qantas’ promotion followed in the footsteps of rival Virgin Australia, which back in June unveiled plans to launch an incentive to get the jab by offering millions of Velocity frequent flyer points and Business class flights.
Some tour operators have also followed suit, with The Travel Corporation recently announcing that it will require all eligible travellers and customer-facing team members to be fully vaccinated for Covid-19 in Australia and New Zealand from 1 December.