Travel Trade Journal
Country Manager- India and Gulf, Tourism Australia
The year 2022: Australia saw an immense surge in tourism visitations from India, with visa lodgements reaching over 30 per cent of 2019 levels. As of October 2022, visitations reached 98 per cent of pre-COVID levels, supplemented by visits for the ICC T20 World Cup.
From a connectivity point of view, we tripled the direction aviation capacity on the India-Australia route by commencing direct, non-stop flights with Qantas and Air India. The Department of Home Affairs had also digitised the visa application process entirely, expediting the visa processing time and enabling Indians seamless travel to Australia. Regarding our marketing strategies, we constantly adapted and continue to customise our approach to ensure Australia remains a key contender in travellers’ consideration set through continuous monitoring and analysis of current sentiments and trends governing how Indians travel and their travel choices.
In October 2022, we launched a new global campaign, Come and Say G’day, to invite and welcome the world to explore all Australia has to offer after the travel restrictions we have had to navigate our way through for the last two years. We were also the host country for marquee events like the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, which provided us with a great contextual PR and media opportunity to leverage the attention and interest garnered for the tournament to generate destination awareness and appeal.
New Developments: We have several new accommodations, experiences, and events lined up for the New Year, which will allow tourists to experience the diversity of Australia. In the first half of the year, we have The Ritz- Carlton opening in March 2023 in the heart of Melbourne; and CABN Cape St Albans opening in May 2023, offering sustainable luxury. W Sydney is scheduled to open in Sydney’s magnificent Darling Harbour in October 2023. Marquee events and festivals like Sydney World Pride, FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand, and SXSW Sydney are touting to be major attractions for travellers in the upcoming year, in line with travellers seeking more sustainable and indigenous experiences.
Preparedness and expectations from India market in 2023: India has been one of Australia’s most important markets in recent years and is currently the third largest source market for Australia. Arrivals out of India for April to October 2022 were at 87 per cent of 2019 levels. By June 2023, we expect the visitation numbers to reach the pre-covid levels of 400,000; on the back of increased air connectivity and facilitation of tourist visa processing, among other factors. Our overarching long-term goal is to attract one million tourists from India alone by 2030.