Aviation capacity and lack of destination knowledge are two key factors affecting growth of bilateral travel between Australia and India, according to participants at a recent Round Table Conference, organised by Australia India Travel & Tourism Council (AITTC).
The Round Table on Challenges and Opportunities of Bilateral Tourism between the two countries was held at the Pullman Quay Grand Hotel in Sydney on 9 August, attended by senior representatives from almost every quarter playing a role in bilateral travel – from inbound and outbound tour operators in Australia and India, hotels, airlines, visa office, travel insurer and airports to government, media and, most importantly, Tourism Australia and India Tourism.
Presentations were made by leading tour operators including Insight Vacations, Insider Journeys, Travel Maestro Australia and Thomas Cook India, and the subsequent discussion identified assorted issues – from visa facilitation and pricing fluctuations to airport facilities and outdated ideas.
According to Nishant Kashikar, Tourism Australia Country Manager in India, in the last three years there has been double digit growth in passenger arrival to Australia and subsequent spending. For the year ending May 2017 over 275,000 Indians arrived in Australia, an increase of 15% on the previous year.
From Australia to India, Kanchan K Kurkeja, Assistant Director India Tourism in Australia, said the numbers are up, with last year’s introduction of an e-Visa making travel to India much easier for Australians. The Australian government has also launched online visa applications for Indian nationals from 1 July this year.
IMAGE: Kerala backwaters, India