More India-Australia Direct Flights Needed for Increasing Tourist Inflow: Tourism Minister

(FILE PHOTO) Representative image

(FILE PHOTO) Representative image

Australian Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said that Indian and Australian airlines should expand their services to provide direct access between Australia and India.

There is a need to increase direct flight services from India to Australia to meet the growing market demand from the Indian tourism industry, Australia's tourism minister Simon Birmingham has said. Speaking at the annual World Routes conference in Adelaide on September 22, the minister said that 90 per cent of the Indian tourists were currently travelling through other ports to get to Australia which clearly showed that the air services were under-serviced at present in terms of direct flights between the two sides. "There is a huge opportunity which is why we are trying to really focus the attention of airlines in airports to think about the opportunity to secure greater direct access between Australia and India," he said.

Birmingham said the growth of Indian tourism was driven by its growing economy, trade opportunities and stronger international education market. He said the 5 million Australian dollars federal campaign for target ads and marketing in India released recently would encourage more tourists to travel for the major cricket season next year. Australia will host the ICC T20 World Cups for both men and women in 2020. "We'll continue particularly to encourage the Indian and Australian carriers obviously to think about the possibilities here," he said. The minister said there were several Indian cities from where tourists come which were underserviced and there was a potential to increase the air service.

"A similar story exists elsewhere and frankly the message I gave this morning is don't just think about Sydney or Melbourne. Why should flights from India fly over Adelaide, and Perth, and Darwin on their way to the East Coast when they could use these great cities as gateway points into Australia too?" he added. India is Australia's eighth largest market for tourists behind China, New Zealand and the United States. Over 2,22,000 Indians visited Australia since January-July 2019 recording a growth of over eight per cent from last similar period. Currently, Air India is the only direct flight provider, with eight flights to New Delhi from Melbourne and Syndey.

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