Australia is emerging as Global Tourism Leader: Manifold growth in tourist arrival

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Australia is emerging as a one of the favourite tourist destination around the globe and has seen manifold growth in tourism and growing further. It has seen another quarter of double-digit growth in international spending, with positive results across most of Australia’s key inbound markets. Sitaram Mewati, senior Journalist in conversation with Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager, India & Gulf, Tourism Australia on various topics.

Is Tourism Australia is expecting to close the year ending July 2016 with any increase in visitors from India compared with the same period last year?

Globally, Australia received over 7.4 million tourists during the year 2015; a growth of 8.2 per cent over the previous year. International tourist spend recorded a solid growth of 18 per cent, to reach A$ 36.5 billion. The first three months of 2016 saw 60,200 Indians visit Australia, bringing the numbers as of year ended March 2016 up to 231,900, a 7.7 per cent increase over the footfall seen the previous year.

The Tourism Forecasting Committee (TFC) is forecasting 245,000 visitors from India for Jun 2015 – Jul 16, a 12 per cent increase over 2014-15. Arrivals from India are expected to perform well with an average annual financial year growth rate of 7.2 per cent through to the financial year 2021-22. We are thus confident of India maintaining its ranking among the top 10 inbound markets for Australia.

How was the year 2015 for Tourism Australia? How many tourists arrived in Australia and how much AUD visitors spend?

The year 2015 has been a momentous year for Tourism Australia. We have achieved significant milestones such as crossing the 200,000 arrivals landmark and achieving AU$ 1 billion in visitor spends.

Indian arrivals for the calendar year 2015 were recorded at 233,100; an increase of 19 per cent over 2014, with 68 per cent of the travellers visiting Australia for leisure (158,500). For the year 2015, Indian visitors contributed over A$ 1.1 billion (Approx. Rs 5,500 crores) to the Australian economy; an increase of 38 per cent over the previous year. Indians spent a total of 14 million visitor nights in Australia during 2015; an increase of 38 per cent over 2014.

Were Indian tourist arrivals during January to March, 2016 declined? What was the reason? Please elaborate?

Arrivals during the first quarter of 2016 declined by 2.7% due to the reverse impact of the ICC Cricket World Cup held during Feb and Mar 2015. Since 2015 was an exceptional year on account of this event, arrivals during the period Jan to Mar 2016 were up by 38% as compared to the Jan to Mar 2014 quarter.
When and where is the flagship trade event of Tourism Australia, India Travel Mission (ITM) is slated to be held?

Our flagship trade event, India Travel Mission (ITM), is slated to be held in Chennai from 18th to 21st August 2016. The event will provide a superb opportunity for representatives from the Australian tourism industry to establish business relationships with key qualified travel agencies and tour operators from India.

Would this event have any benefit for Australian tourism industry?

India Travel Mission (ITM) aims at bringing together top selling Australian suppliers to meet and forge valuable business associations with Indian trade. Over the years, the ITM has proved to be a great platform for us to fortify our travel trade engagement in the country.

With a record increase in tourist arrivals from India, Tourism Australia aims to further build on strong trade relationships and training programs for the trade fraternity. ITM focuses on educating the trade about Australia’s diverse tourism offerings and to aid them in promoting it as a must visit destination among their customers.

What was the response for hosting the Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) at Gold Coast? Was it helpful for Indian Travel Agent?

Over the years, ATE has emerged as the premier event for providing Indian travel agents with the ideal platform to equip themselves with Australia’s latest offerings. Owing to this, Indian travel agents have always displayed great enthusiasm to be a part of this event.

Being a high magnitude trade event, the core focus of ATE remains to familiarise Indian trade participants with the Australian tourism business through business appointments and networking events providing an opportunity to experience Australia’s tourism offering first hand through pre and post event familiarisation trips. The information garnered through this event equips the Indian agents with the required information on the latest events and products available on the tourism front. This in turn helps them to curate supreme itineraries in line with the discerning demands of the evolving Indian traveller.

How many Indian travel agents attended ATE 2016?

To further promote Australia as a destination of choice amongst Indian travellers and showcase Australia’s growing popularity as a holiday destination, 19 companies from the Indian travel trade fraternity participated in ATE 2016. Balmer Lawrie & Co. Ltd, MakeMyTrip, Thomas Cook, Travel Tours and Yatra were among the companies that attended ATE 2016.

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