Delhi ranks high in Aus­tralia's list

Ma­ha­rash­tra ranks first while Delhi ranks se­cond among the big­gest In­dian mar­kets for Aus­tralia in terms of tourist ar­rivals, re­veals Nis­hant Kashikar, Coun­try Head In­dia and Gulf, Tourism Aus­tralia, who was in the cap­i­tal re­cently and shared plans for th

TravTalk - India - - NTO - NISHA VERMA

Nis­hant Kashikar re­vealed that Tourism Aus­tralia started with a rep­re­sen­ta­tion agency in Delhi be­fore set­ting up its own of­fice. “We have de­vel­oped a very strong re­la­tion­ship with the travel in­dus­try here and we keep nur­tur­ing it. Also, given the avi­a­tion ac­cess, with the only di­rect con­nec­tion be­tween In­dia and Aus­tralia be­ing on Air In­dia from Delhi to Syd­ney and Mel­bourne, as well as the em­bassy and High Com­mis­sion be­ing here, Delhi has be­come very im­por­tant for us. We’ve seen some good growth from this mar­ket over the past 12 months. We had al­most 32,000 tourists from the state of Delhi alone, who trav­elled to Aus­tralia last year and th­ese tourists con­trib­uted al­most (Aus­tralian dol­lar) AUD 165 mil­lion, which is an in­crease of 26 per cent as com­pared to pre­vi­ous years. Delhi is also im­por­tant for us from a yield per­spec­tive, which means tourists from here tend to con­trib­ute quite sig­nif­i­cantly to the coun­try’s econ­omy through tourism ac­tiv­i­ties un­der all seg­ments in­clud­ing group travel, free in­di­vid­ual travel and the honey­moon seg­ment. In fact, this is the mar­ket that has helped us es­tab­lish Aus­tralia as a great honey­moon des­ti­na­tion as well. As per our Tourism 2020 strat­egy, our goal is now to drive yield and spend per per­son, and this mar­ket will play a very im­por­tant role in help­ing us achieve that ob­jec­tive,” he says.

Talk­ing about the Tourism 2020 po­ten­tial, he says, “When we launched Tourism 2020 plan in June 2012, we had set out three ob­jec­tives— to achieve 300,000 vis­i­tor ar­rivals by 2020; achieve AUD 1.9 bil­lion in spend; and to achieve the top six out of re­gion rank­ing from the In­dian mar­ket. The good news is that we have made it to the top six in the re­gion rank­ing and we will be achiev­ing our ar­rivals tar­get in 2017 it­self. Thus, th­ese tar­gets are not far if we main­tain the cur­rent growth mo­men­tum. For the third tar­get of the AUD 1.9 bil­lion spend, we are con­fi­dent of achiev­ing it well ahead of time. In­dia is ex­pected to be ranked amongst the top five mar­kets for Aus­tralia by 2025, and we‘d like to bring that tar­get closer and reach that mark by 2020 it­self.”

On re­peat vis­i­ta­tion, Kashikar re­veals that 50 per cent of visitors to Aus­tralia come back be­cause it is such a huge con­ti­nent that can­not be ex­plored in one visit. “We are see­ing an in­crease in dis­per­sal where peo­ple are trav­el­ling to cities be­yond the key tra­di­tional gate­way cities. This is how it will help us to achieve our yield,” he shares. To prop­a­gate re­peat vis­i­ta­tion, they are fo­cus­ing on the west­ern part of Aus­tralia, the north­ern ter­ri­tory, Tas­ma­nia and other des­ti­na­tions which are also gain­ing pop­u­lar­ity and aware­ness in the In­dian mar­ket. “Con­tent, ad­vo­cacy and dig­i­tal will be our three strong pil­lars and th­ese will be sup­ported by part­ner­ships with agents, OTAs and air­lines to achieve our ob­jec­tives. In the last six-eight months, we have worked with a lot of tele­vi­sion chan­nels, both main­stream and re­gional. Thus, there is a lot of fo­cus on con­tent on TV. Ad­vo­cacy is another el­e­ment of our strat­egy and we have signed up with Pari­neeti Cho­pra as Tourism Aus­tralia’s friend of Aus­tralia. She re­cently trav­elled to Aus­tralia and posted on Face­book, In­sta­gram and Twit­ter, and has around 30 mil­lion fol­low­ers across all plat­forms. There is go­ing to be an in­crease in in­vest­ment on dig­i­tal me­dia as well. It’s not go­ing to be pure dis­play ad­ver­tise­ments, but a lot of fo­cus on search, pro­gram­matic search and videos,” he shares.

In terms of prop­a­ga­tion through trade chan­nels, he re­vealed that they have the Aussie spe­cial­ist pro­gramme in In­dia, for which they have around 6,000 reg­is­tered mem­bers and al­most 3,500 are cer­ti­fied Aussie Spe­cial­ists. "We or­gan­ise events like In­dian Travel Mis­sion, which was re­cently held in Pune, where we had 100 agents from across the coun­try. We also have Aus­tralian Tourism Ex­change, which is go­ing to take place next year in the city of Ade­laide, and we have good par­tic­i­pa­tion from Delhi as well. We have Dream­time, which fo­cuses on MICE, and is hap­pen­ing in De­cem­ber in Bris­bane. Apart from that, my team trains al­most 12,000 agents across the coun­try in any given year. Th­ese are cus­tomised and be­spoke train­ing pro­grammes based on the agency re­quire­ments," he says.

con­nec­tion be­tween In­dia and Aus­tralia be­ing on Air In­dia from Delhi, here, Delhi has be­come

Nis­hant Kashikar Coun­try Head In­dia and Gulf Tourism Aus­tralia

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