05 November 2008
Tourism Australia opens first office in India
Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson is set to open the first Tourism Australia office in India, expecting that more than 500,000 tourists per year from India could visit Australia before 2018.
India is Australia's fastest growing source of tourists, growing more than 20% per year for the past five years. The move to attract tourists from India is one of the few bright spots in Australia's tourism industry outlook. Australia's tourism industry is gearing up for hard months ahead, as the worldwide economic downturn cuts into the number of travellers from traditional sources, New Zealand, the UK and the United States.
The executive director of Australia's Tourism and Transport Forum expects that "There will be a diminished market for people looking to holiday both in Australia and overseas" over the next 12 months.
What remains unclear is how Tourism Australia intends to accommodate the visa needs of such a large volume of travellers. Tourists from India currently need to apply for a paper tourist visa, rather than the electronic Australian travel visa available to visitors from other countries.
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their Australian visa application.
Article by Editorial Staff, Australian Visa Bureau.