Now India in TA sights

Now India in TA sights
By admin

Tourism Australia has identified improved air access as one of the keys to unlocking India’s tourism potential as it unveiled its India 2020 Strategic Plan at the Australian Tourism Exchange today in Perth.

The plan aims to capture a greater share of the 50 million Indians expected to travel overseas by 2020.

But TA managing director Andrew McEvoy conceded air access posed a significant challenge, acknowledging the market was currently underserved by direct flights between India and Australia.

He identified Malaysian Airlines, the Singapore Airlines-Virgin Australia alliance, Qantas group and Thai Airways as currently supporting the bulk of services between Australia and India via their respective South East Asian hubs.

“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,” he admitted. “Working with those carriers which represent the best opportunity to support Indian travel to Australia is therefore one of our top priorities under this plan.”

Investment in new products and experience would also be required, along with adaptations to service culture, he added.

“There is a high destination awareness of Australia amongst Indians but low product knowledge, especially beyond the east coast, gateway cities,” he said.

While the plan follows last year’s roll out of a China 2020 strategy, it takes a “much different approach,” according to McEvoy. It will primarily target the major cities of Delhi and Mumbai and their growing middle class of affluent travellers with the tourism body set to double its Indian marketing spend in 2013.

India is currently Australia’s 10th most valuable tourism market, with 148,200 visitors spending $867 million in 2011.

It is currently one of the world’s fastest growing outbound markets, with the potential to rise in annual value up to $2.3 billion by 2020 and deliver 300,000 annual visitors.

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