Victoria is Indian visitors favourite holiday visit

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Melbourne, Mar.12 (ANI): More Indians than ever are holidaying in Victoria despite a spate of attacks on students from the subcontinent, says state Tourism Minister Tim Holding.

The Tourism Research Australia survey released yesterday revealed the number of Indians visiting Victoria rose 26 per cent in the year ending December 2009 compared with the same period in 2008.

A record 50,700 tourists visited, contributing about 257 million dollars to Victoria's economy, making India Australia's sixth-largest incoming tourist market behind Britain and New Zealand, the study found.

Holding said the results were a "great achievement when you consider the negative media coverage from incidents involving Indian students".

But professor of tourism management at Victoria University, Brian King, said the study did not include recent attacks on Indian students, including the stabbing murder of Nitin Garg in January.

He said the full impact might not be known until at least June.

Australia's share of the Indian tourist market doubled between 2005 and 2009, with visiting family and friends of Indian students fuelling the rise, he said. (ANI)

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