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melbourne aims at 129,000 indians by 2021

Recording 71,000 Indian arrivals in 2012, Tourism Victoria has recognised India as one of its fastest growing source markets, resulting in the destination’s forecast expecting these numbers to increase to 129,000 Indians by the year 2021, stated Leigh Harry, Chief Executive, Tourism Victoria. To achieve the target, Tourism Victoria invited Indian photographer Atul Kasbekar to capture the state and all it has to offer. The images were unveiled at the end of a successful roadshow in Mumbai which saw a delegation of 15 tourist attractions from in and around Melbourne. The photos will be used in Visit Melbourne’s promotional campaigns this year, revealed Lousie Asher, Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Government of Victoria. India is the first country to be invited for an initiative of this kind.

Following the success of its ‘Melbourne Now’ digital campaign, which was unrolled last year inviting Indian travel agents to submit their proposed itineraries to highlight the city, Visit Melbourne has now entered phase II of its campaign. The campaign was aimed at increasing not only Indian footfall to the destination but also increasing the visitors’ length of stay. 15 winning agents from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Pune will now work closely with Visit Melbourne to promote these itineraries and the destination in joint marketing initiatives.

“India is a rapidly growing market and we need to constantly come up with new ways to attract footfall from here. The photo exhibit and the ‘Melbourne Now’ campaign are another step in that direction. We were looking to increase overnights in Melbourne which were otherwise at a couple of nights. The new itineraries have set aside four to five nights for the city which is very encouraging. The pictures by Kasbekar should add impetus to attracting Indians to the destination,” said Asher.

 Harry further added that Melbourne has not been aggressively promoting all that it has to offer which may be the reason for shorter overnights from India. “Our delegation at the roadshows we are conducting in Mumbai and then Delhi will highlight our other attractions, especially to the increasing FIT segment from India,” he stated. While the focus of the roadshow was Melbourne, Asher stated that Phillip Islands, Gold Fields region, Sovereign Hills, among others were options around Melbourbe being promoted for overnight stays.

Speaking of the Indian visitor seasons, Celia Ho, Regional Manager South and South East Asia, Tourism Victoria, revealed that April to June is the popular season for families while November to December were peak season for honeymooners. “We are working closely with the Indian travel trade, especially niche operators, to increase footfall from India during the other seasons. The in between season is gaining popularity among the Double Income No Kids (DINK) segment who are not affected by the economic slowdown,” she stated.

Throwing light on the Tourism Board’s activities for the year, Beena Menon, Representative, India, Tourism Victoria informed that the Board will participate in ATE and ITM and also chalk out their joint promotional campaigns with the winning travel agents from Melbourne Now.

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