Cost need not be great barrier

The strong Australian dollar is taking its toll on the nation’s tourism industry, with national airline Qantas also ending a 17-year relationship with British Airways by teaming up with Middle East-based Emirates instead.

But Austravel, a UK-based operator to Australasia and part of the giant TUI Travel group, is fighting back with some offers to make Australia more affordable.

While the Australian dollar doesn’t make life easy for visitors from Europe, the Austravel offers will make your pound stretch a little further.

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There are various domestic flights offered free along with free room nights and upgrades, guaranteed booking discounts and “buy one, get one free” deals.

In addition, booking deposits are among the lowest available, from only £220 per person. Austravel is also working with airlines to cut fares for limited periods.

Customers booking an Australasia holiday with selected flights with Malaysian Airlines can also enjoy free domestic flights to stunning Malaysian islands – including Penang and Langkawi.

Currently, Austravel’s Sydney and Malaysia Flight offer starts at £999, for a flight on Malaysian Airlines from Heathrow to Perth, via Kuala Lumpur, between May and June 2013.

Free flights available include the chance to fly between Brisbane and Cairns, to see the beautiful beaches of the Gold Coast and the Great Barrier Reef.

Austravel’s 11-day Queensland package from £1,495, saving £420 per couple, includes Etihad direct flights into Brisbane, five nights on the Gold Coast at the Vibe hotel and then free internal flights to Cairns to experience the Great Barrier Reef, with three nights at the Discovery Resort.

Austravel deals on campervans currently offer up to 70 per cent off, with free insurance. A 10-night motor home visit to Perth and Western Australia from £1,149 saves £400 per couple.

Karen Joyce, Austravel general manager, says: “The exchange rate Down Under isn’t great, and it’s a long-haul flight to get there

“Our tours cover almost every single part of your itinerary, even down to meals, so you can pay for these in pounds rather than the Australian dollar. Savings on tours are up to £200 per person.”

Austravel on 0800 988 4834 and www.austravel.com