Melbourne: Indian visitors are expected to contribute $1.9 billion to the Australian economy by 2020, Australia's Trade Minister said, describing India as an important trade and investment partner.
For the year-ending March 2017, Australia welcomed 274,500 visitors from India, 15.3 per cent more than the previous year, Steve Ciobo said.
During the same period Indian visitors spent more than $1.3 billion in Australia, making it the eighth largest market for Australia in terms of money spent by travellers, Ciobo said.
The minister said that India was a growing and important tourism market for Australia and Indian visitors were expected to be worth $1.9 billion to the Australian economy by 2020.
The minister stressed that the Government of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull recognised the importance of the Indian market to Australia's tourism industry which prompted the implementing of online visa applications. The government was also piloting a three-year, multiple entry visitor visas.
"Tourism is also one of the key sectors for the India Economic Strategy, commissioned by Prime Minister during his visit to India earlier in the year, which will look at opportunities to grow and diversify Australia's economic relationship with India over the coming years," he said.
Describing India as an important trade and investment partner for Australia, the minister said that he will lead a business mission to Australia Business Week in India, at the end of the month, which will promote Australian capability and expand Australia's trade, investment and education relationships.
The country has also roped in former cricket captain Michael Clarke to promote tourism and woo tourists to visit and experience the country from its key international markets.
Clarke will work with Tourism Australia (TA) to encourage people in our key international markets, especially India, to visit and experience Australia.
Clarke was made 'Friend of Australia' during TA's annual India Travel Mission last week in Pune.
Clarke's new role will include hosting events, media appearances and networking with travel agents and key tourism stakeholders to show the world why there is nothing like Australia.