New tourism strategy unveiled for Indian travel market
18/06/2012 - As India's cashed-up middle class adds global travel to its must-do list, Australia is preparing to cash in. Tony Bartlett
The India 2020 strategic plan aims to attract a bigger share of the 50 million Indians expected to travel overseas in the next decade.
It was unveiled at the Australia Tourism Exchange (ATE) in Perth, the largest travel trade event on the Australian tourism calendar.
Tourism Australia (TA) boss Andrew McEvoy says India has strong future potential, but is a unique and complex market.
The strategy will focus on the major cities of Delhi and Mumbai, and their affluent middle classes.
"Long-haul holiday travel taken by Indians out of their country remains at relative small levels, but is developing fast as global travel is now appearing on many Indians' life resume," McEvoy said.
"By investing now Australia can strengthen its position to be better placed for the future when long-haul travel, in particular leisure, becomes more common."
One of the keys to unlocking India's long term potential is improving air access and capacity, he said.
Federal tourism minister Martin Ferguson said India is one of the key markets driving growth in this Asian Century.
"India is already one of the world's fastest growing outbound travel markets and is predicted to grow to 50 million outbound travellers by 2020," he said.
Last year, India contributed $867 million to the Australian economy and has the potential to contribute up to $2.3 billion annually by the end of this decade.
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