Up to seventy of India’s top selling travel agents for Australian holidays will visit Melbourne in September as part of Tourism Australia’s six-day India Mega Famil and Workshop (IMFW) 2012. Scheduled to be held from September 1 – 6, 2012 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), the IMFW has been planned as a platform to showcase quality experiences and Australian tourism products to the participating Indian agents. Representatives from up to 70 Australian products and experiences will meet with the Indian trade delegates during this program.
Tourism Australia recently released a new strategy aimed at tapping into the future tourism potential of India. The India 2020 Strategic Plan, unveiled by the Minister for Tourism, the Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP, identifies the main opportunities and sets out the approach required to build Australia’s appeal and to win future market share. The upcoming IMFW is a progressive step towards helping secure future business for Australia by showcasing the destination to leading travel agents from India.
Commenting on the event, Maggie White, Regional General Manager, South/South East Asia and Gulf Countries, Tourism Australia says, “As part of the wider global 2020 strategy we have been working consistently towards increasing the number of Indian visitors to Australia and it is encouraging to see the statistics reflect growth. Events like IMFW are a good opportunity for the Indian agents to experience Australia first-hand and meet with the industry. We look forward to a successful event.”
A new brand campaign will also be unveiled in the month of August by Tourism Australia in India. The theme of the campaign will be around the ‘Best of Australia’ experiences and some of these will be included as part of the destination experience offered to the Indian agents during the upcoming IMFW.
Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager India, Tourism Australia said, “On our trade initiatives front, apart from IMFW, we will also be having destination training programs and cooperative campaigns with trade partners in addition to the online Aussie Specialist Program (ASP). Guided by the India 2020 plan and through our continued efforts of working closely with the trade and media towards building awareness of experiences available in Australia, we are confident of seeing increased interest in travel to Australia in the future.”
The IMFW is an ideal platform for the Indian travel trade to develop a deeper understanding of the Australian tourism products and experiences and explore business opportunities. The event has two core components – a workshop defined by one-to-one meetings between the Indian and Australian delegates and a famil program. A dedicated overnight famil program for the Indian travel agents, showcasing regional surrounds of Melbourne will be a part of the event schedule. As part of the core overnight famil the agents will have the opportunity to visit one of three famed regions of Melbourne – Phillip Island best known for its fairy penguins; Great Southern Touring Route that is famous for the natural rock formations known as the Twelve Apostles and Mt. Buller – the Victorian snowfields region where participants can indulge in snow and ski experiences.
In addition to this, all travel agents will be offered an option of a pre or post familiarization visit to one of the other participating Australian states to showcase Australia’s capability as a tourist destination.
Famil opportunities include opportunities to visit the states of Western Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland and to have a feel of the ‘Best of Australia’ experiences within each of this state. Within Queensland, Indian agents have the option to visit Brisbane and Tangalooma, Gold Coast, Cairns and Whitsunday Islands of Hamilton and Hayman. The New South Wales famil will feature an itinerary inclusive of iconic Sydney attractions and the regional surrounds of Hunter Valley and Port Stephens.
The South Australia famil selection will give a glimpse of the charming city of Adelaide and Kangaroo Island that is famous for its wildlife. The Victoria famil will showcase the best of Melbourne experiences and the surrounds including Phillip Island, Great Ocean Road, Sovereign Hill and Mt. Buller. In Western Australia, the famil itinerary will take participants on a tour of Perth city and to Australia’s oldest wine region - the Swan Valley.
India is currently Australia’s 10th most valuable inbound tourism market, with 148,000 visitors spending A$867 million in 2011. One of the world's fastest growing outbound travel markets, India could rise in annual value to up to A$2.3 billion by 2020 and deliver 300,000 annual visitors. There were 15,400 visitors from India during May 2012, bringing the total for the five months to May to 68,300, an increase of 5.2 per cent relative to the same period previous year.