NSW woos Indian visitors

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Mumbai, Sep 17 (UNI) Tapping on the increasing number of Indian tourists, especially honeymoon couples, the Australian State of New South Wales (NSW) is looking for an exponential growth over the next few years.

On a promotion tour of NSW, which had 56,000 Indian tourists last year, the State expects to see a further hike in the annual growth of 16.5 per cent on visitors from India, who contributed 173 M AUS Dollars to the State exchequer last year.

NSW Tourism Board Chairman Less Cassar, currently visiting India, told newsmen here that the number of Indian visitors was expected to touch more than 400,000 by 2017 and NSW wanted to increase its share to more than 55 per cent.

Ms Carmel Beattle, Group Manager of International markets of Tourism New South Wales, said ''We are very excited with the growth in the indian market in recent times. India is one of our most important market with great potential to grow further'' she added.

She said NSW also had a sizeable student population from India.

But the State was keen to attract family visitors. NSW is also being promoted as a major centre for meetings, conferences and incentives, Carmel said adding that Companies could look to Australia besides other destinations for holding such meetings.

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