South Australia can draw more tourists from India

sa-tourismAt present, India’s business connection with South Australia is mainly through International Education, the state’s largest export. In 2020, the enrolment numbers from India were 11364 – a 20% rise compared to the previous year. However, COVID19 has destabilized the market severely. Another connection of importance is wine.

 Australia continues to be one of the leading exporter of wines to India by value and by volume. According to Wine Australia, for the year ending December 2018, Australian wine exports to India grew in volume and value by 50% and 52% respectively. And a fair portion goes from South Australia – Penfolds and Jacobs Creek being pretty familiar names among the Indian wine connoisseurs.

 There can be further business opportunities with India in areas of resource and energy, argi-business, water and environmental management, aerospace, defence, advanced manufacturing and most importantly in tourism. During pre-covid time, the state received an increased number of visitors from India

South Australia today presents an ideal climate for business investment by virtue of which it’s home to some pioneering enterprises and exciting new industries in multiple sectors from space and health to artificial intelligence, innovative learning and renewable energy.  

 Worth noting some of the recent achievements.

 While Fleet Space – an agile South Australia based space company – made history by launching Australia’s first four nano-satellites,  entrepreneur organisations like Life Whisper in the health sector with its ground breaking technology   has gifted new hope to improve pregnancy rates with a cloud-based artificial intelligence system. Micro-X ,another ASX listed entity in the health sector has been drawing attention by driving the global revolution in medical and security imaging products using cold cathode x-ray sources.

 South Australia is leading the nation in renewable energy, growing from virtually zero renewable energy production in 2003 to approximately 2,000 MW of installed wind, and over 1000 MW of solar PV generating capacity in 2018-19. Renewable energy is making a valuable contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and developing a sustainable future for all South Australians.

 The state’s current Hydrogen Prospectus portray an epic future for renewables.
The three listed hydrogen hubs dot South Australia at the forefront of global clean hydrogen production and exportation.

 In this context the state’s battery storage system needs to be mentioned as being a pioneer in storage technology. At 100MW/129MWh, its Hornsdale Power Reserve is the largest lithium-ion battery in the world. The 50MW/ 64.5MWh expansion, currently under construction, will further showcase the complete benefits that grid-scale batteries can provide to the National Electricity Market (NEM) and Australian consumers.

South Australia’s two renowned education hubs – The University of Adelaide and University of South Australia is thriving with research activities. The Andy Thomas Centre for Space Resources brings together the University of Adelaide’s collective exploration, mining, manufacturing and engineering research strengths to address the challenges faced by long term planetary exploration, while ensuring  the near term application here on earth.

 Any outsider, after noting all of the research and pioneering activities can possibly nick name the state as the ‘Research Hub’ of the nation.

 The South Australian government is motivating this research and innovation-driven business enthusiasm. Establishment of Lot Fourteen within the heart of Adelaide City and Tonsley Innovation District around 10km south of the city-centre demonstrates the government’s commitment to attract the world’s best talents.

Tourism Australia – Spotlight on India

au-tourismThe latest edition of Tourism Australia’s   ‘Spotlight on the Regions’ features India with Country Manager, Nishant Kashikar. Highlights from the report are:
Despite the increase in number of cases, consumer confidence index amongst Indians has remained high, with our latest consumer demand research results revealing that Australia has maintained its highest ranking for consideration and intention amongst Indian travellers. Whilst India is currently witnessing the second wave of COVID-19, it has also launched one of the world’s biggest vaccination programs and has immunized over 70 million people in just over 10 weeks.
Tourism Australia has aggressively protected its number one position as the most considered and intended outbound destination amongst our target audience, ensuring we remain top of mind amongst consumers as soon as travel can resume. The Border-Gavaskar cricket series and the Australian Open allowed Tourism Australia to reach out to over 35 million travel enthusiasts with branded content, advocacy and PR-led initiatives, involving Australian cricket legends David Warner, Brett Lee and Friend of Australia, Harsha Bhogle.

Tourism Australia’s Aussie Specialist team has delivered over 18,000 trainings during the pandemic and are engaging the trade through interesting workshops involving Australian Masterchefs and Indigenous artists. Aligned to our content, PR and advocacy activities, Aussie Specialist training has focused upon ensuring these highly engaged agents are able to recommend and sell the ultimate Aussie holiday to their customers.

The mid to long term opportunity offered by the Indian market remains high and given the young demography and rising economy, the market has the potential to deliver 1 million visitors to Australia over the next decade.

The Australia – India bilateral relationship has significantly strengthened and the same is evident through heightened engagements at the political, trade and investment level and the social media banter between the two Prime Ministers.

The Indian economy is already looking at a ‘V-shaped’ recovery, with GST collections in March 2021 recording an all-time high of 1.24 trillion rupees (A$22.5 billion), 27 per cent higher than March 2020. The GST collections were also 14 per cent higher in the January to March quarter of 2021 compared to the last quarter of 2020. Various economic sectors and industries are also showing signs of recovery.

No quarantine needed for international travellers in Mumbai if vaccinated

mumbaiAs reported in Travel Daily India international passengers from the UK, Europe, Middle East, South Africa and Brazil will no longer have to undergo the mandatory week-long institutional quarantine on arrival in Mumbai if they have received both doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Mumbai’s civic body BMC, in its new set of advisories, has also given exemption from institutional quarantine to the passengers who are above 65 years of age, women in advanced stage of pregnancy, both parents accompanying children aged below five. Earlier, the passengers arriving or transiting from flights originating from these countries with a final destination in Maharashtra had to observe a compulsory institutional quarantine of seven days at a state-designated facility irrespective of a negative report before boarding the flight.

Passengers with serious illnesses that require immediate medical attention, such as cancer, severe physical disability, mental illness and cerebral palsy can also skip quarantine now if they have supporting medical documents.

Medical professionals who intend to travel for life-saving surgery or attend to critical patients have also been exempted from institutional quarantine if they furnish proof from the hospital where they are to perform the surgery or provide medical service.

The passengers who don’t fall under any of these categories, however, will have to undergo mandatory institutional quarantine for seven days followed by seven days of home quarantine.

The new guidelines come even as Maharashtra, among other states, has been reporting a surge in the COVID-19 cases. Mumbai last week reported the most daily coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, stoking a new nationwide wave.

Very High Percentage of Indians daydream about travel

daydreamAlmost a year after world travel abruptly shut down due to the COVID19 pandemic, American Express has released its latest research on grounded travellers’ sentiments about getting back on the road.

According to the report, Indians rank ‘most interested’ in future travel with 84% respondents daydreaming about travel at least once a week.

 The report has been compiled from a survey undertaken between January 15-24, 2021 among a national sample of 1,000 travellers in Australia, Canada, India, Japan, Mexico and the U.K., and 2,000 in the U.S; $70k+ USD household income (HHI) equivalent in Australia, Canada, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S., $50k+ USD equivalent HHI in Mexico, and $20k+ USD equivalent household income in India. Travelers defined as adults who travelled by air at least once in 2019. Results have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points in the U.S.; plus or minus 3 percentage points in the other countries.

Insights from the report state that consumers are most interested in future travel, with 79% of them daydreaming about travel at least once a week in the UK, 74% in the U.S., 70% in Mexico, Canada with 67%, Australia with 45%, Japan with 45% and India at 84%.

38% of Indians top motivation for travelling this year is to go somewhere new. Indians also rank highest (87%), in wanting to be digital nomads – meaning someone who lives and works while travelling the globe.

The report states that the majority of respondents in India, 69%, are planning for one big international trip, while Japan (71%), UK (70%) and Australia (66%) are planning for multiple, smaller domestic trips.

91% of respondents in India are interested in choosing a trip or experience that supports the local community, ranking higher than their global counterparts. 36% of respondents across the seven countries surveyed, 63% in India will more frequently use travel credits or points to pay for all or part of a trip in 2021 than they did prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

President of American Express Travel, Audrey Hendley, says: “Our latest global trends report shows that there is a pent-up demand for travel among consumers, with many people longing for and beginning to plan future trips. In addition, the pandemic environment is giving rise to emerging trends, such as the increasing appeal of working from anywhere while travelling globally, luxury being defined as more personalised experiences, cleanliness and privacy as the ultimate luxury amenities, as well as a growing interest in the environmental and social purpose of their trips and travel companies.”

Condé Nast Traveler Magazine Lists Far Horizon Tours Chairman Sanjay Basu one of Worldwide Top Travel Specialist for 2021

sanjayRepresenting “Far Horizons of India’s passion for “Experiencing the Rich Living Cultures and Diverse Natural History through India’s Grand Natural Heritage”, Chairman Sanjay Basu was selected as part of Condé Nast Traveller Magazine US’s: Top Travel Specialist Worldwide List 2021.

Far Horizon Tours is a Member of AITTC

It is a great honour and recognition of Sanjay’s efforts to create unique luxury tours, adventures, safaris, eco lodges and river cruises showcasing the cultural and natural resources of this ancient and possibly, one of the most diverse lands!

India is a land whose history goes way back to possibly touch even the times of the last Ice Age, making it possibly the only surviving pre Bronze Age era civilisation. With 38 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, over 4,000 monuments, the monumental India is truly grand.

It’s Natural Heritage has been rated as the 6th Greatest in a tied position with Brazil. With 70% of the Himalayas offering the largest number of 7,000, 6,000 and 5,000 meter mountains with one 8,000 meter Mount Kanchenjunga, it is the custodian of the third pole on Earth.

With three types of deserts from the Golden Thar Desert, the Silver Rann of Kutch and the high altitude deserts of Ladakh, Zanskar and Spiti, makes it the only country to offer this combinations of sands.

With Equatorial, Tropical and Alpine Forests, its flora is one of the most diverse the world can see anywhere.

With seven navigable rivers among its 105 smaller and white water Rivers, it offers amazing range of river activities.

With a 7,500 kms long coastline, two sets of coral islands including the largest in the world – The Andaman Islands where there is a functional volcano called Barren Island, it has it all!

With five Big Cats, the Royal Bengal Tiger, the Asiatic Lion, Sotted Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Snow Leopard, it is the Greatest Cat Country of the world! With the sixth returning back after a gap of 70 years, the Cheetah by end of the year, India with fifteen species of smaller cats will be unmatched.

With Asian Elephants, Single Horned Rhinos, Wild Buffaloes, the Gaur (Bison), Sloth Bears, Brown and Black Bears, Barasingha and Spotted and Hog and Swamp and Sambar Deers, Nilgai and Blackbuck and Chinkara Antelopes, it is a great wildlife of mammals. Not to mention a wide range of reptiles and amphibians too.

1272 species of birds making it 60% of the bird life of Africa with just 10% of the land mass, India’s wilderness is unparalleled and the greatest outside the continent of Africa!

AIR INDIA SALE

airindiaThe Indian Government is is aiming for a new timeline for the disinvestment of the national airline. It’s understood financial bids will be invited in the coming days to target the disinvestment including handing over to the new owner by the year end. The sale of the airline now in the government’s agenda for a long time has been delayed by the pandemic.

WESTERN SYDNEY AIRPORT

airportConstruction of Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport is underway and on schedule to begin operations in 2026. The airport is a transformational infrastructure project that will generate economic activity, provide employment opportunities closer to home for people in the Western Sydney region, and meet Sydney’s growing aviation needs.

Australia’s first modern baggage handling system will be a game changer for anyone catching a plane from this airport.

Western Sydney Airport CEO Simon Hickey said the baggage handling system will help de-liver a fast and easy experience for passengers and airlines and make Sydney’s new airport one of the most advanced airports in the world.

“This innovative, convenient and secure system is the next generation in baggage handling, which will give passengers and airlines the confidence that luggage will arrive safely – at the right place and the right time,” Mr Hickey said. “We’re aiming to make lost luggage a thing of the past at Sydney’s new airport.”

The contract to design, build and maintain the system has been awarded to Vanderlande Industries Australia, a subsidiary of Toyota, following a competitive procurement process

FIFA Women’s World Cup

fifaTen stadiums in nine host cities across Australia and New Zealand will host matches at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2023. In Australia, matches will be played in Brisbane, Sydney,

Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth with the final scheduled for August 20 at Sydney’s Olympic stadium. The tournament, which will open at Eden Park in Auckland on July 10, will be the first Women’s World Cup to be expanded from 24 to 32 competing teams.

 

This major sporting event will surely boost tourism in down under with football fans from around the globe visiting several iconic destinations in between the matches.

FUNDING TO BOOST TOURISM TO CENTRAL AUSTRALIA

centralauThe central part of Australia is a treasure trove of natural wonders comprising of the majestic Uluru, Alice Springs, Darwin, Kakadu National Park and many more. The Northern Territory Government has allocated a $1.25 million boost to Tourism Central Australia. This investment bolsters the Commonwealth Government’s $3.5 million Recovery for Regional Tourism grant for Central Australia.

The funding will promote Central Australian packages with a “Mates Rates” incentive to reduce the cost of tourism experiences in the region. This activity is expected to stimulate $10 million in retail spending across Alice Springs and the Lasseter region. The Northern Territory Government is also supporting a suite of tourism marketing activities are in the pipeline for Central Australia up to June 2021.The program has already attracted more than 4000 bookings, worth $15.5 million in gross sales with 53 per cent of reservations booked in Central Australia. Central Australia’s future is also looking bright with the popular Alice Springs Masters Games set to return from October 1 next year. The Northern Territory Government pledges to work with tourism stakeholders to promote Central Australia and grow the visitor economy.

TARGET THE AUSSIE-INDIAN DIASPORA TO BOOST DOMESTIC TOURISM

aetcAustralian Export Promotion Council (ATEC) together with Tourism Australia returned the National ‘India Host’ program for 2021.

The current program has been expanded to provide strategies to tap into the local Indian Communities. Over 770000 people of Indian origin live in Australia. With the domestic Aussie-Indian travellers on the rise, it’s a great time to market your product to the local community as a pathway to welcoming back the India international traveller.

The online program covered the following content:

1. Culture Ready – Indian Culture, country geography, society, education.

2. Product Ready – Indian traveller expectations, identifying target market segments, HVT travellers, creating a value proposition, sales and marketing

3. Service Ready – Tailoring products and services for the Indian market, service expectations for tourism operators

4. Marketing & Trade Ready – Indian customer travel planning journey, source of information and planning, booking sources, social media and digital influence, overview on the Indian travel distribution system.

The modules were delivered LIVE via 90min Zoom sessions, however recordings are available if you miss a session.

The training provides the industry with a Handbook and Tools & Resources that assist them in their development in welcoming the Indian visitor, targeting both the domestic Indian communities and international travellers. Graduates of the program will receive a digital ‘India Host’ badging (logo) to display their market readiness