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Speech to the India Mega Famil and Workshop



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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

India Mega Famil and Workshop 03 September 2012

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Introduction

Good evening.

I would like to extend a very warm welcome to the Indian delegates here this evening.

I trust you are enjoying your time visiting Victoria’s beautiful natural attractions including the Yarra Valley, Mt Buller, the Great Ocean Road, Phillip Island and the Mornington Peninsula.

As you have seen, Melbourne is a vibrant, welcoming city. I trust that it has truly shown you the best of what Australian tourism has to offer.

This event is important because it allows you to experience exactly what is so unique and enticing about our country.

You have been able to see for yourself the stunning vineyards and rugged coastline, met our exotic wildlife and tasted our local food and wine products.

When your clients ask you what to expect on a holiday to Australia, you will be able to share your experiences of our country and tell them of the world class tourism experiences Australia has to offer.

It is also fantastic to have such a wide breadth of the Australian tourism industry participating in this event.

For the first time, businesses from Western Australia and the Northern Territory have joined the India Mega Famil & Workshop, giving our Indian buyers access to tourism products and operators from some of Australia’s most pristine and incredible landscapes.

Indian Tourism Market

This event provides the opportunity for our Indian buyers and Australian sellers to form meaningful and long lasting business relationships.

Many of our Indian buyers are based in the key cities of Mumbai and Delhi, as well as other secondary cities in India. Through Tourism Australia, we are able to spread great product knowledge of Australia to our target Indian consumers in these cities.

India is a key growth market for the Australian tourism industry, one which could be worth up to $2.3 billion in overnight expenditure by the year 2020, as outlined in the industry’s Tourism 2020 Strategy.

To reach this potential, Australia is focusing on highlighting quality tourism experiences for Indian travellers to enjoy, and is working towards increasing aviation capacity to help visitors acess diverse locations around our vast country.

We have been seeing significant growth out of India in recent years.

In the six months to June this year, we have already attracted over 80,000 visitors from India, an increase of 5.4 per cent on the same period last year.

This also means that India now ranks 10th in terms of inbound visitors to Australia.

India 2020 Strategy

Given the importance of the Indian market and the potential it holds, the Australian Government, with Tourism Australia, developed the India 2020 Strategic Plan in June this year.

It has been estimated that there will be 50 million outbound travellers from India by the year 2020, and through the India 2020 Strategy, Australia aims to attract 300,000 of those visitors to our shores.

The Strategy will capitalise on this astounding number of outbound travellers through new consumer research and by identifying ways to work effectively in this unique market.

The Strategy puts in place four deliverables for the India market - research to understand the Indian consumer; expansion of marketing activities into key Indian cities; aviation development plans; and a plan to increase the quality of the experiences Indian consumers will have in Australia.

With this approach, I’m confident that we will be able to achieve our goals in the Indian market.

Asia Century

The India 2020 Strategic Plan is a key deliverable under the Australian tourism industry’s overarching Tourism 2020 Strategy, and is one of the many ways the Government is committed to advancing Australian tourism in this Asian Century.

Tourism Australia is investing in marketing Australia to India’s rapidly emerging middle class who are driving India’s fast growing economy.

It is more important than ever to make sure that our target Indian consumers hear Australia’s message amongst the growing competition from tourist destinations all over the world vying for these same travellers.

Asia Marketing Fund

A significant boost in our ability to market Australia in Asia is now possible with further funding of $48.5 million over four years granted to Tourism Australia through the Asia Marketing Fund.

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This Fund goes beyond marketing Australia to Chinese consumers, and acknowledges the strong growth markets like India, Indonesia and Malaysia as powerful tourism opportunities.

This Fund will help Tourism Australia achieve the deliverables outlined by the India 2020 Strategic Plan, helping our industry to attract our share of those 50 million Indian tourists by 2020.

Marketing Activities in India

Since Tourism Australia’s There’s nothing like Australia campaign first entered the Indian market, we have seen visitor numbers slowly increase.

Through advocacy initiatives - allowing Indian nationals to share their stories about Australia to Indian consumers - we have reinvoked an image of Australia as a welcoming and enticing destination.

It has positively influenced Indian consumer’s perceptions of Australia - the same way that these Famils trips do - and we have seen promising results.

In 2011, Australia moved up seven places to be ranked 20th as a welcoming nation, voted by Indian nationals.

This is very encouraging news for our tourism industry, as we focus more heavily on marketing our country to the Indian market.

Conclusion

We will continue to work hard together with our State and Territory Tourism Organisations, aviation and industry partners, on a whole of industry approach to attract visitors to Australia from India and other emerging Asian markets.

I would like to acknowledge Tourism Victoria for the great work they have done hosting our Indian delegates during the Famil and Workshops.

And I would like to encourage all of our delegates here tonight to make the most of the business opportunities that this important tourism event offers you.

Thank you.

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