In a bid to tap the burgeoning wealthy Indians expected to travel abroad, Australia has chalked out a dedicated long term strategy to double the number of visitors from the Asian country by 2020.
The year 2012 recorded a jump of 7.4 per cent in visitors from India with total number of Indians visiting Australia recorded at 159,200.
"India has been identified as a key market in helping Australia to achieve its Tourism 2020 goal of growing the overnight expenditure generated by tourism to as much as USD 140 billion by the end of the decade." Tourism Australia's managing director Andrew McEvoy said.
"As such we have a dedicated long term strategic plan for India, which is about harnessing the opportunities to build continuous steady growth," McEvoy said.
"Currently, India is Australia's 8th largest inbound tourism market, with over 159,000 visitors generating 716 million Aus Dollar in spend last year," he said.
"Longer term, visitor numbers from India to Australia are estimated to reach up to 300,000 and potentially generate as much as Aus Dollar 2.3 billion annually by 2020," he said.
Countering the perception of Australia as an expensive destination, McEvoy said: "We also understand that Australia can be considered a high cost destination for travellers however we feel the world class experiences we have to offer are worth the investment in time and money for travellers when they are here."
"Alongside our incredible nature and city experiences Australia offers excellent food with Indian and vegetarian meals widely available," the official said.
"In terms of the business events market, the high desirability of Australia is a motivating factor for organisations looking to reward and motivate employees through corporate incentives or boost delegate attendance for their corporate meetings or events," he added.
Asked how Australia would compete with other popular destinations like US and Europe, McEvoy said: "From a business events perspective, Australia not only provides world class convention and conference facilities in a pristine modern urban environment, but it also works very hard to prepare customised programs for Indian groups."
"Such customisation can include offering Indian cuisine (including vegetarian options), complimentary service and high-end experiences, attractive night-life options, value added experiences including room upgrades and hotel poterage and money can't buy experiences such as interaction with local celebrities such as Australian cricket personalities," he cited.
McEvoy opined that word of mouth advocacy was all powerful in destination marketing.
"Tourism Australia works closely with well known identities and