Australian states vie to woo Indian tourists

Melbourne, Sep 3 (IANS) With Air India launching daily direct flights from New Delhi to Melbourne and Sydney after a gap of 16 years, the governments of Victoria and New South Wales are strategising to woo the maximum number of Indian tourists.

Victoria's Premier Denis Napthine and his New South Wales counterpart Barry O'Farrell are not the only Australians in the efforts to secure their share of the projected 50-million-strong Indian tourists' market.

While government-owned Tourism Australia is spearheading the campaign to attract the maximum number of Indian travellers, the state tourism promotional bodies, Tourism Victoria and Destination NSW, are not sparing any efforts or resources to get planeloads of Indian tourists.

The landing of an Air India Boeing-787 Dreamliner in Melbourne and Sydney on Aug 29 was marked by a number of public functions and media conferences. Two separate media conferences were organised at Melbourne's Tullamarine and Sydney's Kingsford Smith international airports to mark the much-awaited launching of flights.

New South Wales also organised a cultural show to welcome the direct flights.

Destination NSW CEO Sandra Chipchase said: "I'm delighted to welcome Air India to Sydney and NSW. Air India's decision to schedule four direct flights per week to Sydney recognises NSW's status as Australia's premier state for international tourism, visitation and visitor expenditure."

"To year-end March 2013, more than 71,000 visitors from India travelled to NSW, spending more than three million nights - with most visitors coming to see family and friends, followed by holiday makers and business travellers."

"Destination NSW estimates that Air India's new daily Dreamliner service will add more than 890 extra seats from India each week into Sydney, or more than 46,000 seats per year, which could contribute more than A$30 million into the NSW economy per year," she added.

"India is a very important market for New South Wales and I am pleased to welcome and support the new Air India service to Sydney," NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell said earlier.

Tourism Victoria also responded to Air India re-spreading its wings Down Under by hosting a public function at the fabled Melbourne Cricket Ground on Monday.

India's acting Consul General in Melbourne Nirmal Chaudhary also attended the function on his first day in office. Victoria's Premier Denis Napthine and a number of public and corporate identities were also present on the occasion.

The Air India service will operate on the Delhi-Sydney-Melbourne route four days a week, and on the Delhi-Melbourne-Sydney route on the other three days.

(Paritosh Parasher can be contacted at paritoshparasher@yahoo.com)

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

Rajasthan edge low-scoring thriller

The bowlers restricted Hyderabad to 133 for 6 before Rahane and Binny took Rajasthan over the line. More »

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

Maxwell blitz takes Punjab home

The Kings XI batsman blasted a 43-ball 95 to help his team pull off a massive chase against Chennai Super Kings. More »

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

Bangalore vs Mumbai: A battle of the big-hitters

As two of the most glamorous sides in the Indian T20 league, the focus of the match between Mumbai and Bangalore will invariably be on the middle-order… More »

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

BCCI lacks leaders to take on Srinivasan, says Manohar

Two former BCCI presidents, Shashank Manohar and Jagmohan Dalmiya, have reacted strongly to the news of the BCCI calling an emergent meeting on Sunday… More »

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Pietersen ridicules idea of day-night Tests

Kevin Pietersen has ridiculed the idea of day-night Test cricket, saying the game would be so different to proper Test cricket that we will need a whole… More »

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Stressed Trott stands down again

Stressed Trott stands down again

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday confirmed that batsman Jonathan Trott is to take another break from all cricket with immediate eff… More »

PCB starts another coach hunt

PCB starts another coach hunt

The PCB has decided to not extend the contracts of head coach Moin Khan, fielding coach Shoaib Mohammad and batting consultant Zaheer Abbas, and has invited… More »

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistan cricketers face probe

Pakistani cricket authorities have launched an investigation after a number of current international stars played in exhibition matches in the United States… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »