Australia aims to double Indian visitors
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The year 2012 recorded a jump of 7.4 per cent in visitors from India with total number of Indians visiting Australia recorded at 159,200.
"India has been identified as a key market in helping Australia to achieve its Tourism 2020 goal of growing the overnight expenditure generated by tourism to as much as USD 140 billion by the end of the decade." Tourism Australia's managing director Andrew McEvoy said.
"As such we have a dedicated long term strategic plan for India, which is about harnessing the opportunities to build continuous steady growth," McEvoy said.
"Currently, India is Australia's 8th largest inbound tourism market, with over 159,000 visitors generating 716 million Aus Dollar in spend last year," he said.
"Longer term, visitor numbers from India to Australia are estimated to reach up to 300,000 and potentially generate as much as Aus Dollar 2.3 billion annually by 2020," he said.
Countering the perception of Australia as an expensive destination, McEvoy said: "We also understand that Australia can be considered a high cost destination for travellers however we feel the world class experiences we have to offer are worth the investment in time and money for travellers when they are here."
"Alongside our incredible nature and city experiences Australia offers excellent food with Indian and vegetarian meals widely available," the official said.
"In terms of the business events market, the high desirability of Australia is a motivating factor for organisations looking to reward and motivate employees through corporate incentives or boost delegate attendance for their corporate meetings or events," he added.
Asked how Australia would compete with other popular destinations like US and Europe, McEvoy said: "From a business events perspective, Australia not only provides world class convention and conference facilities in a pristine modern urban environment, but it also works very hard to prepare customised programs for Indian groups."
"Such customisation can include offering Indian cuisine (including vegetarian options), complimentary service and high-end experiences, attractive night-life options, value added experiences including room upgrades and hotel poterage and money can't buy experiences such as interaction with local celebrities such as Australian cricket personalities," he cited.
McEvoy opined that word of mouth advocacy was all powerful in destination marketing.
"Tourism Australia works closely with well known identities and celebrities to share their stories and passion for Australia with others. It also underpins our global
marketing campaign - There's nothing like Australia - and brings it to life with rich and compelling testimonies of why people should travel to and through Australia," he said adding that The approach was very effective in reaching potential travellers and inspiring them to take action to experience Australia first hand.
Tourism makes up 5.6 per cent of Australia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which equals that of the mining industry-another super-profit sphere, responsible for the
greatest coal exports in th world.
Some 874,400 people are employed in the tourism sphere, making up almost 8 per cent of the total employment in Australia.
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