Tourism Aus targets 50 million Indian travellers

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Melbourne, Jun 20: Australia has unveiled a new strategic plan to woo some of the 50 million Indian tourists, who are expected to travel abroad by 2020.

"India 2020 Strategic Plan", which is predicting an annual 300,000 tourists from India, underlines plans to increase the number of flights between the two nations, introduce new products which appeal to Indians and adapt service.

The strategic plan would help the Australian tourism industry maximise the tourism potential of India through new consumer research and by identifying ways to work effectively in this unique and growing tourism market.

Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson, in a statement, said India is one of the key Asian markets driving growth in this Asian Century and strategic thinking and investment in the market now would reap rich dividends in the future.

"India is already one of the world's fastest growing outbound travel markets and is predicted to grow to 50 million outbound travellers by 2020. Last year, India contributed 867 million Australian dollars to the Australian economy and has the potential to contribute up to 2.3 billion dollars annually by the end of this decade if we successfully grow our market share," Ferguson said.

"The India market is different to China and other markets and requires a strategic approach tailored to this unique and growing market. The proportion of Indians travelling to Australia for a holiday is smaller than other markets with many Indian tourists preferring short haul destinations," he said.

"Driven by a fast growing economy and a rapidly emerging middle class, the time to invest and stake Australia's claim to a share of this growing market is now to position ourselves for when long haul leisure travel becomes more common from Indian tourists," he added.

Ferguson said the plan will also be supported in coming years under the over 61 million dollars Asia Marketing Fund announced in the 2012 Budget.

"This plan will help Australian operators understand the market better, particularly identifying where the best opportunities for growth are, both now and into the future, and will be instrumental in growing both arrivals and value to Australia," Ferguson said.

The Tourism Australia's India 2020 Strategic Plan has been launched in Perth on the opening day of the annual Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) on June 15.

Tourism Australia had also developed a local campaign 'Namaste Australia' in 2010-2011 to encourage positive consumer advocacy of the country and 'There's Nothing Like Australia' campaign will be rolled out in India this year.

PTI

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