Recently Nishant Kashikar, Tourism Australia’s Country Manager for India has provided an informative situational update on India.
According to his report life is starting to get back to normal in India, with the number of COVID-19 cases rapidly reducing, following a massive surge during the second wave between April to June 2021.
Vaccination efforts have significantly ramped up with over 450 million Indian people already receiving the first vaccine dose and over 100 million who are fully inoculated. Over 90 per cent of India’s adult population is expected to be fully vaccinated by the end of this calendar year.
Signifying the importance of the Indian outbound travel market, several key competitors including Switzerland, France, Germany, South Africa, Russia, Turkey, Egypt, Iceland and The Maldives have opened their borders for fully vaccinated Indian travellers, without the need to quarantine or provide any COVID test report on arrival.
India has also established air travel bubbles with over 27 countries including USA, UK, Canada, Holland, Japan, Seychelles, Kenya and The UAE with relevant safety protocols, which has resulted in visiting, friends and family, business and student traffic to these countries.
There is rising optimism amongst Indian travel trade who have seen an increase in enquiries and bookings, not just for domestic holidays and staycations, but also for international trips to countries that have opened their doors to fully vaccinated Indian travellers.
Most National Tourism Organisations are now investing heavily into their marketing and distribution efforts to gain a larger share of the Indian outbound travel pie.
Aussie Specialist agents in India are confident of arrivals to Australia bouncing back strongly, provided Aussie borders are opened along with their key competitors.
Kashikar further reports that Australia has maintained its top ranking against competitors and is the most ‘Considered and Intended’ outbound destination amongst the target audience in India. While short-term weakening of this position is obvious as competitors open before Australia, Australia will continue to remain top of mind and inspire high value Indian travellers to visit Australia as soon as the borders open, through various social and content amplification and public relation initiatives.
Tourism Australia is continuing with their efforts on the distribution front and engage with Indian Aussie Specialist Agents through various immersive and experiential workshops aimed at promoting new products and destinations, including the Signature Experiences of Australia collective, preparing theses agents to launch as soon as international travel resumes.
The Australia – India relationship across a number of sectors is at an all-time high and will only strengthen from here on. India is estimated to deliver over a million visitors per annum to Australia and will feature amongst top five inbound markets over the next decade.
India will continue to be amongst the world’s fastest growing economies, with the economic think-tank at the National Council of Applied Economic Research predicting a growth of 8.4 to 10.1 per cent for FY22. The Indian economy will deliver and pay rich dividends in the mid to long term, as it has a young and an aspirational population. Australia continues to enjoy the highest awareness and holidays are now becoming an integral part of the Indian lifestyle.
Tourism Australia continues to develop platforms for the Australian industry to stay engaged, participate in virtual training and trade events, and facilitate the launch of new products, experiences and destinations that would resonate with the new-aged Indian traveller. The Aussie Specialist Program number of qualified agents has increased by 64 per cent since COVID-19 began, showing the strong belief from our agents that Australia will represent a significant opportunity in the post COVID-19 world.