Dana Urmonas, Regional Director (India & Southeast Asia), South Australian Tourism Commission speaks about the upcoming ATE which is all set to be held in Adelaide and about the growth from India market
In 2016, there was a slight dip in footfall to South Australia from India but an increase in spend by Indian travellers. In 2017, once again the destination has witnessed growth, what was the key strategy behind this growth?
India is one of our top ten international markets and we have been making conscious efforts to increase visitation and spend ever since we entered the market three years ago. The increase in visitors as well as spend by Indians in 2017 is a reflection on the steady efforts we have put in through our airline and trade partnerships, training programs for tour operators, influencer campaigns and consumer-targeted programs via digital and public relations. We have also been actively participating in the Indian Travel Mission organised by Tourism Australia year on year and this has helped us engage with hundreds of tour operators each year.
This time ATE is all set to be held in Adelaide, how do you see this event and what kind of boost will tourism South Australia get out of it?
The ATE was last held in Adelaide in 2010, so we are excited about the opportunity to host it again this year. We will have over 2,000 delegates visiting from over 30 countries and the 700 international travel wholesalers and retailers and over 80 international and Australian media attending ATE in Adelaide. The impact for tourism in South Australia goes beyond just numbers as the participants attending the ATE will also have an opportunity to explore the unspoilt nature, world-class food and wine regions and native Australian wildlife in Adelaide and its charming surrounds such as the Barossa, Adelaide Hills, Kangaroo Island and Fleurieu Peninsula. This particularly helps the trade understand the distinctions between destinations like Adelaide or Kangaroo Island as opposed to other common Australian destinations and why should Indian travellers choose them over the rest.
Which are the segments you are targeting in India?
In India, we are targeting travellers typically between the ages of 25-45 who are from metropolitan areas like Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai. Our focus is to attract honeymooners, families, independent travellers and particularly cricket lovers.
What was the average length of stay and average spends by Indians in 2017?
Typically, we see Indians spending anywhere between 7-10 nights in Adelaide and its surrounding regions given the vastness of experiences on offer. This was no different in 2017. The spends by Indians for the year ended September 2017 was at AUD 37 million, which was a steep 33% more than the AUD28 million spent for the year ended September 2016.
Which are the new attractions that you are showcasing for the India market?
Two big attractions that we want to showcase for the India market will be the RoofClimb experience at the Adelaide Oval, the only cricket stadium in the world where you can do this and the recently launched food and wine experience at d’Arenberg Cube in the Fleurieu Peninsula, which is being touted as one of the most exciting wine experiences in the world. Also with the first ever day/night test match between India and Australia being played at the Adelaide Oval later this year, our focus will be on highlighting city experiences in Adelaide and nearby regions, like swimming with the tuna in Fleurieu Peninsula, holding a koala at wildlife parks in the Adelaide Hills and food and wine experiences in the Barossa. We will also be showcasing the variety of experiences on offer on Kangaroo Island, which is one of the most sought-after destinations in Australia among Indians. Qantas recently started their seasonal flight service over the months of December and January between Adelaide, Melbourne and Kangaroo Island, making accessibility to this remarkable island even easier.
Are you planning any trade engagement activities in India market in 2018?
We will continue to build trade and airline partnerships and invest in training our trade partners on the experiences that South Australia has to offer in 2018. This year again we will be participating at the ITM organized by Tourism Australia with the aim to attract a higher yield of international travellers, delve into the big issues and ways in which to address these issues of today’s most important tourism marketing questions
How much growth in footfall do you aim to achieve from India this year?
We are aiming to increase our visitor numbers by 10% this year through our upcoming trade and consumer programs.
Which are your major source markets globally and where does India stand?
Our major source markets include the United Kingdom, China, USA, New Zealand, Germany and Singapore and these are followed by India which currently stands as the seventh largest international market overall. We foresee tremendous scope for growth in India as Indians are gravitating more towards experiential, off-beat and adventure travel of late and South Australia’s offerings beautifully bring the three together all in one destination.