The land of the kangaroos is doing everything it can to woo Indian tourists.
Australia ended nearly two years of its Zero-COVID policy that saw the country shut off its borders and reopened the doors for global leisure travel to the continent. But what has the country’s tourism department all excited is that they see annual tourist visits from India alone hit the one-million mark by 2030 – thanks to pent-up dreams.
“There is a long-term vision that we have set for ourselves — to achieve a million visitors from the Indian market over the next decade,” said Nishant Kashikar, country manager (India & Gulf), Tourism Australia, in a chat with a news portal.
“If we are to maintain our present growth rate of 15 to 17 over the next six to seven years, after achieving our targeted 400,000 tourist visits this year, we should be able to hit a million visitors from India to Australia by 2030,” Nishant added, “This target, when achieved, would also make India the third-largest tourist market for Australia.”
The recent lean periods notwithstanding, Indian tourist arrivals in Australia stood at 400,000 as of February 2020, and the average annual spend from Indian visitors totaled to $1.8 billion. “From March 2022 to February 2023, especially with the ICC T-20 World Cup being hosted by Australia and assuming there are no further COVID waves, we should go back to 400,000 visitors from India,” Nishant calculated.
But most of these numbers are calculated based on the total restoration of air routes and zero COVID resurges. Australia’s national carrier Qantas recently announced an increase in its outbound flights from India to Australia, including four flights per week on the new direct route from Bengaluru to Sydney. Air India has also followed suit.
Also, to promote tourism between both countries at various levels, the Australian Government has announced select visa application fee waivers and fast-tracking applications from the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions (MICE) visa seekers.
As per data available with Tourism Australia, India ranks number 6 and 7 in terms of tourist spend and arrivals in Australia, respectively: “The goal is to get both these numbers in the top-5 by 2030,” says Nishant.