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Australian government opens Tourism office in India

Melbourne, Nov. 03, 2008
Satnam Kaur

Australian government said it has opened its 14th international and the first Indian office in Mumbai. In the first quarter of 2009, Tourism Australia would launch a marketing campaign created by Australian filmmaker Baz Luhrmann in India.

The Energy Minister Martin Ferguson was in the city to open the office and said:

  • India is one of Australia's fastest growing markets and it provides the Australian tourism sector with a fantastic opportunity.
  • About 1,14,000 Indians are expected to visit Australia in this calendar year, an increase of 20 per cent over last year.
  • India is Australia's 12th largest market in terms of visitor numbers and 10th largest in terms of total inbound economic value.

The office in Mumbai would be a contact for the Indian travel trade interested in increasing their Australian business. It would provide information on Australia's leisure and business tourism product to customers.

Research released by Tourism Research Australia today reveals international travellers are spending more during their visits to Australia. In the year ending June 2008, spending by international visitors in Australia increased nine per cent to $16 billion, primarily driven by the growth in Chinese, Malaysian and Indian markets.

“Chinese, German and Italian visitors showed the strongest growth in spend by holiday visitors for the year, while visitors who travelled for education or employment and those visiting friends or relatives also increased their spending. Importantly, the international market contributed $24.1 billion in Total Inbound Economic Value over the year to the Australian
economy, demonstrating the importance of international tourism to our economy.

Visitors from India also rose by 22 per cent, or 18,000 travellers.The largest growth in visitors was from China with a 10 per cent increase in numbers, or an additional 34,000 travellers.

The wave of Indian migration is that of doctors, engineers, tool-makers, Gujarati business families from East Africa and relatives of settled Indians. Australian education institutes are recruiting full fee paying overseas students. Many universities have permanent representatives stationed in India and other Asian countries. Their efforts have been rewarded and a new influx of Indian students entering Australia. The total number of student visa's granted to Indian students for the year 2006-2007 were 34,136 a significant rise from 2002-2003 when 7,603 student visa's were granted Indian students.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 87% of Punjabis residing in Australia are aged under 50 and over 83% of the population are proficient in English. Many in the community are Hindu and Sikh, while there also smaller number of Christians and Muslims. There are about 260,000 NRIs living in Australia.