Down under unleashes a campaign to garner a larger share of Indian tourists

Seeking to secure a bigger chunk of the 50 million Indians expected to travel abroad by 2020, Australia has formulated a new strategy – India 2020 Strategic Plan – aimed at tapping into the future tourism potential of India.

The campaign, developed by Tourism Australia, identifies the main opportunities and sets out the approach required to build Australia’s appeal and to win future market share.

India is currently Australia’s 10th most valuable inbound tourism market, with 148,000 visitors spending (Australian) $ 867 million in 2011. One of the world's fastest growing outbound travel markets, India could rise in annual value to up to

(Australian) $2.3 billion by 2020 and deliver 300,000 annual visitors.

According to Tourism Australia Managing Director Andrew McEvoy, the India 2020 Strategic Plan follows the successful roll out last year of a China 2020 strategy, but takes a different approach.

Mr. McEvoy said the campaign would harness new research, increased resources including a doubling of marketing spend by Tourism Australia in India in 2012-13 and adopt a targeted approach. “…we acknowledge this is a unique and complex market that is becoming increasingly competitive and which needs a clear, strategic approach to build a platform for any substantive future success by our industry. With today over 70 national tourism organisations active in India, the time is right for Tourism Australia to invest more to both maintain our presence and enable our industry to better leverage a future competitive advantage,” he remarked.

The four thrust areas being addressed includes choosing the right target customer; a clear geographic strategy to focus resources, which will initially target households in Delhi and Mumbai apart from the affluent middle class; building a sustainable, competitive aviation market between Australia and India and developing quality experiences that competitively differentiate Australia.

Mr. KcEvoy said long haul holiday travel taken by Indians out of their country remains at relative small levels, but is developing fast as global travel is now appearing on many Indian’s life resume. “By investing now Australia can strengthen its position to be better placed for the future when long-haul travel, in particular leisure, becomes more common…,” he added.

Mr. McEvoy said one of the keys to unlocking India's long term tourism potential is improved air access and capacity, acknowledging that the market is currently under-served by direct non-stop flights between India and Australia. “Preliminary analysis suggests we’ll need an additional 345,000 seats from our existing position to meet the expected demand for Australia from India out to 2020,” Mr. McEvoy said.

Mr McEvoy said Australian tourism must be ready to fully maximise the India opportunity, which means the campaign must invest in new products and experiences, as well as adapting aspects of service culture. Indian arrivals to Australia have grown at a compound annual growth rate of 12.3 per cent over the last decade.

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