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Australia bets big on sports tourism to drive tourist numbers from India, ET TravelWorld News, ET TravelWorld

The world-class events in the past have benefitted host nations in terms of tourism and long-term economic impact, including Australia during the Australian Open, Formula One Australian Grand Prix, ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Border-Gavaskar Series in 2018-19, Melbourne Cup, etc.

These have significantly helped to drive visitation into Australia and helped India earn the distinction as Australia’s fastest growing inbound tourism market over the years.

Based on a recent international visitor survey, Indian arrivals and spending in Australia for the period January to March 2015 i.e., during the ICC Cricket World Cup recorded an impressive growth of 41 per cent and 65 per cent respectively. It is estimated that over 9,000 people travelled to Australia to watch the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, thereby contributing approximately INR 200 crore to the Australian economy.

The tourism board has partnered with DreamSetGo to help them achieve that by giving easy access to Indian travellers. DreamSetGo has become the ‘Official Travel Agent’ of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Australia 2022 and the ‘Official Tour Operator’ of the Australian Open 2023 through a partnership with ICC Travel and Tours’ and ‘AO Travel’. The partnerships, along with others such as DreamSetGo being the ‘Authorized Sales Agent’ of F1 Experiences in India, will solve accessibility issues for Indian travellers and bring unforgettable experiences in Australia.

In a joint interaction with ETTravelWorld, Nishant Kashikar, Country Head – India and Gulf, Tourism Australia and Monish Shah, Co-founder & Chief Business Officer, DreamSetGo shared their plans to leverage the opportunities and attract maximum numbers of travellers to Australia from India.

“India has been Tourism Australia’s fastest growing inbound market. So pre-Covid, we achieved six consecutive years of double-digit growth in arrivals and spending. We were the fastest growing inbound tourism market for three consecutive years between 2017 and 2019. And since the borders have reopened, in fact, in the month of May, we had almost close to 32,000 visitors from India to Australia and India was the number two market for Australia in the month of May itself. So, we have already seen a significant demand,” apprised Kashikar of the importance of the Indian market.

He further added that travel demand during the time of the world cup is huge as it coincides with the festival and wedding season. “Visa demand for Australia is already 50 per cent higher than the 2019 levels and it is rising every week. So, overall, we are quite excited, and I think this season would be a game changer for us with new records being set,” Kashikar mentioned.

Whereas Shah stated that DreamSetGo is expecting close to 5,000 ‘experiential travellers’ to travel to Australia in the next 12 months with their support. “Around 75 per cent of that demand will come from the T20 World Cup. So, we’re actually well on our targets. We are probably done over one-third of our target already with close to 90 days remaining for the World Cup and with that the only leading issue or only good problem to have is the airline capacity and the prices are going up but that just shows demand that is there for this tournament,” he mentioned.

Both Kashikar and Shah feel that the only issue both companies are facing right now with respect to Indian travelling to Australia is the airline capacity. Both of them have demanded all the major airlines reinstate their pre-Covid flight capacity back on the routes as soon as possible.

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