India is Victoria’s 2nd largest inbound tourism source market

 Thursday, March 30, 2023 


India is the second largest international market for inbound tourism after China for Victoria, Australia’s southern state. According to Tourism Research Australia’s most recent International Visitor Survey, Victoria received 100,300 short-term visitors from India in the fiscal year ending September 2022, returning to 57% of pre-covid levels, the highest of any international market to Victoria, according to Visit Victoria CEO Brendan McClements.

“India is a critical part of where we think the future of tourism is in Victoria. And it’s partly because Victoria also is home to Australia’s biggest Indian population. Now that the world’s opening up and things are happening, we’re very keen to reconnect with India and reconnect those people-to-people links. And we’ve been incredibly encouraged by what we’ve seen over first few months,” he told Mint during his recent visit.

While Indians make about 3% of Australia’s population, they are the largest group in Victoria, with almost 235,000 Indians residing there. Melbourne, state’s capital, has a packed calendar of food and wine, sport, art, lifestyle and multicultural events. Although the well-known Melbourne Food and Wine Festival continues until April 2, the Melbourne Comedy Festival will begin on March 29 and run until April 23.

McClements said that before the Covid 19 pandemic, Indian travellers would come and stay for a long time.

“The return of Indian travel has been extraordinary. And post-pandemic, we now have several airlines connecting Melbourne with India,” he said.

While there are no direct flights between Mumbai and Melbourne, he says talks are ongoing with various airlines and that direct flights will be available soon.

“Air India and Qantas are flying direct—seven days a week and four times a week, respectively, between India and Melbourne. There is also an excellent network of flights connecting the two countries via Singapore, Sri Lanka or Malaysia. So for us to come to India and for Indians to come to Australia, it’s never been easier,” he said.

When asked about the recovery, he stated that it will not be achievable until 2024-25.

“I think 2023 will be the transition year for us, where we settle back into a rhythm. Airlines are still bringing planes out of storage and getting the pilots trained. So we see this year as a sort of gradual return and 2024-25 is the big opportunity.”

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