India has emerged as the eighth largest inbound market for the destination. A recent consumer demand project conducted by Tourism Australia, and the forward booking trend seen by leading travel agents in the market, has revealed Australia to be the preferred destination for Indians for the upcoming summer season.
The research findings reflected Australia as having the highest destination brand index (DBI) among Indians, with an overall score of 100. DBI is computed after considering seven key behavioural and attitudinal measures, including destination experience awareness, advertising awareness, importance factor association, destination aspiration, destination intention, past visitation, and destination advocacy.
Nishant Kashikar, country manager – India and Gulf, Tourism Australia said, “The year 2015 has been a momentous year for us, with significant milestones such as crossing the 200,000 arrivals landmark, achieving AU$ one billion in visitor spend, and improving our ranking to be the eighth largest inbound market for Australia. We are optimistic that India will play a key role in meeting our 2020 tourism target, with spend by Indians touching AU$ 1.9 billion, and arrivals reaching 300,000 annually by the end of the decade. In collaboration with our key distribution and airline partners, we aim to inspire more Indian travellers to plan their next holiday in Australia.”
Sharat Dhall, president, Yatra.com said, “Australia has become a great market for us as people are showing a marked interest in visiting the country. Travellers consider it an excellent destination due to its unique experiences, cities, rich culture and seafood. In fact, in 2015, we observed a 117 per cent increase in our bookings to the destination, and anticipate the number of enquiries/bookings increase by more than double in 2016 as compared to the previous year.”
Karan Anand, head – relationships, Cox & Kings said, “Travel to Australia is expected to grow at 20 per cent compared to 2015. Over the last two years, the exchange rate of the Australian Dollar has depreciated by 15 pe cent, adding to the destination’s allure to the price-conscious Indian traveller.”
Rajeev D Kale, president and chief operating officer – MICE, domestic and sports tourism, Thomas Cook India said, “Australia has been one of our success stories in 2015. The year started with a demand inspired by the World Cup. We closed the year with an impressive growth of over 35 per cent across our outbound segments to Australia; our MICE business seeing significant uptake.”
To facilitate the increased traffic seen into Australia, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection has introduced electronic or online lodgement of tourist visa (e600) applications, an initiative that has seen success since the roll out of the pilot amongst 85 leading travel agencies during 2015.
India has moved up from its position as the 11th largest inbound market for Australia in 2014, to being the eighth largest in 2015. For the year ended November 2015, 230,000 Indian tourists visited Australia; an increase of 18 per cent relative to the same period last year.
For the year ended September 2015, Indian visitors contributed AU$ 1.1 billion to the Australian economy; an increase of 34 per cent over the previous year.