Australia Woos Indian Tourists

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While much media attention has been spent on the rise of Chinese outbound tourism, India again is basking in the shade, yet not that far behind. Australia is gearing up for a boom in Indian tourist arrivals, estimating up to 300,000 visitors from the country and spending of AUD2.3 billion (US$2.15 billion) by 2020.

“India offers huge potential for future [tourism] in terms of visitor arrivals and spends – arrivals from India [are] expected to grow annually by 7.2 percent until 2020. The ‘India 2020 Strategic Plan’ identifies the main opportunities and sets out the approach required to build Australia’s appeal and to win market share,” commented Nishant Kashikar, Tourism Australia’s Country Manager for India.

The ‘India 2020 Strategic Plan,’ introduced by Tourism Australia in 2012, has brought together industry and governmental stakeholders in order to increase Australia’s share of India’s growing number of tourists each year. As a result of the program, Australia has doubled its spending on marketing to Indian tourists and expects the arrival of 180,000 visitors from India this year. Furthermore, “the plan predicts arrivals up to 300,000 visitors and spending up to Australian dollar 2.3 billion by 2020,” added Mr. Kashikar.

“We have witnessed an increased demand for destinations like Hamilton Island, Kangaroo Island [and] Tasmania that are renowned for offering uniquely Aussie experiences,” he said. “Our primary target markets are Mumbai [and] Delhi, while the secondary markets include Chennai, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Kolkata. Our target audience to Australia includes affluent, mid-life travelers between 35-54 years of age – they are usually first time travelers to Australia and increasingly travel as free independent travelers.”

“Again, the main trend is to ignore the rise of the Indian middle class,” comments Chris Devonshire-Ellis of Dezan Shira & Associates. “While everyone looks at Chinese outbound tourism, India also represents a large and wealthy market. The opportunities within the Indian middle class consumer sector tend to be forgotten. As competition heats up for Chinese spending, it may well prove a lucrative strategy to develop the Indian market while other players are still placing all their efforts solely in the Chinese basket.”

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