Knowing India better: A tourism-experts meet, Sydney

Highlighting the potential for growth in the India-Australia tourism sector

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Newer destinations beyond the traditional ‘Golden Triangle’ circuit, increase in number of direct flights, enhanced destination knowledge and more Australian travel operators selling India were the top things that were highlighted by the travel and tourism industry stalwarts during the recent ‘Know India Better’ session in Sydney that was jointly organised by India Tourism and Australia India Travel and Tourism Council (AITTC).

India Tourism AITTC Event

This evening event held at the Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour was attended by over 80 guests comprising of tour operators, travel agents, airlines, hoteliers, media and industry personalities dominating the India-Australia tourism sector. The presence of several Australia focused inbound tour operators from India who were in Sydney to attend Luxperience, one of southern hemisphere’s top international travel mart, was of significance.

Indian traditional-dance performance

Currently, Australia ranks fifth as a source market for the Indian travel sector while India stands eighth as a preferred destination for Aussie travellers. In 2018, around 380,000 touched India from Australia, out of which 133,000 were for purely leisure travel, the balance constituting travel for visiting friends and relatives, business and other purposes. Though there has been growth in the last ten years, travel gurus feel that for a country the size of India with the diversity of world-class attractions and experiences which it offers, the current tourism numbers from Australia only suggests the massive upside potential that exists.

In fact this notion was resonated by many speakers most importantly by Chandru Appar, Deputy Consul General of India in Sydney, Loveleen Sagar Senior Vice President from Distant Frontier in India and Eric Finlay Product Manager (India/ Asia) from Adventure World in Australia.

Dy. Consulate General Chandru Appar

As a result of centralisation of services, India Tourism’s move to Singapore may have made the industry here nervous, but by hosting this event and a major roadshow earlier this year, it’s proving that Australian market by no means is out of India Tourism focus.

Sandip Hor , Chairman AITTC

G. D Bairwa, Assistant Director, India Tourism in Singapore and responsible for the Australian market, in his welcoming remarks assured all help needed by tour operators to enhance growth in tourism to India. While his colleague from Singapore, Amit Kumar provided a well designed presentation on what India has to offer, Motti Abraham, Business Development Manager Air India pointed out how good it is to reach India directly and then continue travel to a wide network of destinations throughout the country by flying with India’s national carrier.

Assistant Director G. D Bairwa, Ministry of Tourism, India

The North East frontier of India, comprising of eight states – Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim –  is rapidly emerging as a new draw card of India. While Madhushmita Khound from Avani Travel Services in India narrated what this region has to offer, famous author John Zubrzycki highlighted the charms of the West Bengal state and its capital Kolkata – the getaway city to North Eastern India.

An event is successful when the anchoring is good. In this case Phillip Boniface AITTC Co Chairman did an excellent job as Master of Ceremonies maintaining the tight schedule and keeping the audience engaged.

The writer Sandip Hor is the Chairman of AITTC