India has emerged as Australia’s ninth largest inbound market with an increase of 11% in the arrivals of Indians to the nation for the year that ended in 2016 when compared to the previous year. In the month October 2016 itself around 20,400 Indians arrived in Australia. This is a growth of 24% when compared with same period in 2015, said the Country manager of India and Gulf Tourism Australia, Nishant Kashikar.
He also elaborated that it has been predicted by the Tourism Forecasting Committee that 265,000 travelers from India would be visiting Australia in the period 2016 July to June 2017 which will be an increase of 9.6% over the period 2015 to 2016. There will be a yearly financial growth of over 6% for arrivals from India well through the economic year 2021-22, revealed Kashikar.
Nishant Kashikar also elaborated that the tourism sector has driven the general growth of Australian tourism market and an increase of 20% and 19% in arrivals and expenditures respectively, as quoted by Traveltrendstoday.
Indian travelers have contributed 1.15 billion Australian dollars to the economy of Australia for the economic year that ended in September 2016. It was an increase of seven percent over the previous year. The average duration of stay by Indian visitors to Australia was an average of 62 days with a repeat visit of 45 percent. The average expenditure by an Indian visitor to Australia in 2016 was around 4,900 Australian dollars.
The important segment for Australian tourism has been the VFR segment that has witnessed an increase of 55% in the repeat visits by tourists in the segment. One reason for this is that over the past five years there has been a doubling of citizens of Australia who were born in India. The contribution of the business traveler segment to the total yearly arrivals to Australia was 8 percent for the year 2016.
The increase in traveler market from India has been very well sustained by the easier visa regime in Australia. The Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection has launched the online processing of Subclass visa 600 for both business and visitor streams and this initiative has been executed with around 105 preferred Indian agents.
In furtherance of its initiatives to facilitate the processing of visas the High Commission of Australia in India has also declared that visa applicants from India can now avail fast track service in India for an additional fee. The Immigration department of Australia has also launched a three-year multiple entry visa scheme on a pilot basis for the Indian travelers. These initiatives will surely facilitate to increase the visits by Indian travelers to Australia, added Kashikar.
When enquired regarding the appointment of a Brand Ambassador for the Indian market, Kashikar replied that Tourism Australia has in place an established program in the form of ‘Friends of Australia’.
This initiative already has well known Indian names such as Harsha Bhogle, the cricket commentator and Sanjeev Kapoor, renowned Chef.