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Currency fall has Australia betting big on Indian visitors

Visitors are gathering information at Australia Tourism Fair in Bengaluru in this August 28 photo. Australia is betting big on Indians to meet its 2020 tourism plan and expects the number of Indians visiting the Down Under to touch a record 2.35 lakh this year, up from 2.20 lakh in the financial year ending June 2015.

Visitors are gathering information at Australia Tourism Fair in Bengaluru in this August 28 photo. Australia is betting big on Indians to meet its 2020 tourism plan and expects the number of Indians visiting the Down Under to touch a record 2.35 lakh this year, up from 2.20 lakh in the financial year ending June 2015.  

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Number of Indians visiting the Down Under expected to touch a record 2.35 lakh this year, up from 2.20 lakh in the financial year ending June 2015

Australia is betting big on Indians to meet its 2020 tourism plan and expects the number of Indians visiting the Down Under to touch a record 2.35 lakh this year, up from 2.20 lakh in the financial year ending June 2015, as they expect the currency fall to help them.

Optimism comes from the sharp fall of the rupee against the U.S. dollar, giving an advantage to Australia, while the Australian dollar fell 15 per cent against the greenback, leading to a healthy 16 per cent increase in per capita spend by Indian tourists.

Eighth largest source market

Last financial year saw 2.2 lakh Indians splurging a record AUD 1 billion on Australia, becoming the eighth largest source market for Tourism Australia, up from 11th a year ago.

On an average, each Indian visiting Australia spent AUD 4,750, which was up 39 per cent from a year ago, Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager (India and Gulf), Tourism Australia, told PTI here.

He said under their tourism plan for 2020, they were expecting the spending by Indians to touch AUD 1.9 billion or with 3 lakh Indian visitors.

Highest growth rate

“One out of every two Indian tourists returns to Australia and have last year spent 1.3 million nights there, an increase of 38 per cent, the highest growth rate among all visitors,” Mr. Kashikar said.

He also attributed the massive spike last year to the Cricket World Cup which drove in record arrivals and spends into Australia. While arrivals from India rose 19 per cent, spending by them soared 39 per cent.

He said the World Cup brought in at least 15,000 more Indians to the Australian shores, contributing to an additional around AUD 70 million, adding the first half revenue touched AUD 632 million with the first quarter revenue alone being AUD 350 million.

For the six months to June, Australia received 1,22,900 Indians, a 24 per cent increase relative to the same period of the previous year.

Electronic visa launch

Mr. Kashikar also said with the pilot launch of the electronic visa application (E-600 facility) for Indians, the number of visitors from here should go up further. Currently, the E-600 facility is available with 80 tour operators, who have reported higher businesses now. “We hope to roll out the facility across India in a year,” he said.

For the quarter ending June 2015, India recorded visitor expenditure growth of 40 per cent.

India-bound travel

When asked about India-bound travel from Australia, he said since Indians were the largest ethnic grouping in that country at 0.5 million, the outbound travellers to India were more at 2.4 lakh last year.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 8:50:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/currency-fall-has-australia-betting-big-on-indian-visitor/article7625627.ece

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