Australia Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham has called on airlines to start direct flights to India to further tap into expanding visitor numbers from the country. India is the fastest-growing inbound tourism market for Australia, however, according to Birmingham, a lack of direct flights threatens to curb growth. “Australia is seeing double-digit growth year-on-year from India,” Birmingham told the World Routes Conference in Adelaide on Sun. However, he explained that “90% travel through other ports to get to Australia and that clearly shows we are under-serviced in terms of direct flights”.
This adds time and cost to travel, which he said was a disincentive for Australia’s eighth largest inbound market. “We project Indian tourism will continue to grow in the future and that’s why we’re growing the marketing and investing, for example in the T20 World Cup advertising campaign.” In a release, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry – Tourism, threw its weight behind the Government’s focus on the Indian visitor economy. “Efficient and fast visa processing is another factor that drives greater visitation and the Government has made headway with the introduction of online visa applications for Indian visitors,” said Executive Chair John Hart