Indians rank Australia as No.1 nation for safety, natural beauty, friendliness, food and wine

New Delhi, Feb.1 (ANI): A new study has revealed that Indian travellers ranked Australia number one among 11 countries on safety, world class natural beauty, food and wine experiences, and friendly and open citizens.

The Tourism Australia study looked at how Indian consumers view Australia and what motivates them to visit Australia. The findings are consistent with surveys by leading market research organisations including the Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index and the Reputation Institute.

"Australia is known in many countries for its lifestyle, natural beauty and environment. This study shows that Indian travellers share many of these perceptions but also find Australia to be a safe destination with friendly people," said Patrick Suckling, Australia's High Commissioner to India.

"In 2011, 148,200 people visited Australia from India and in the 10 months to October 2012, there was a 14 per cent increase in leisure arrivals to Australia from India. Indian visitor numbers are expected to double by 2020," he added.

According to the Tourism Australia research, the majority of Indian travellers ranked safety, world class natural beauty, value for money, romantic experiences and a destination that offers a wide range of activities for all age groups as the most important factors for choosing a holiday destination.

Indians ranked the Australian beaches, its wildlife, island experiences, rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef, as the top attractions.

The Tourism Australia research surveyed eleven major tourism markets for Australia, including the US, UK, Japan, Singapore and Germany.

Key findings of the research were:

Australia ranked No. 1 on safety, world-class natural beauty, friendly and open citizens, the highest rank among all competitor countries.

Australia ranked No.1 on Food and Wine among those Indians who have previously travelled to Australia.

Sydney, Gold Coast, Cairns, Melbourne and Kangaroo Island were the most appealing regions for Indians intending to visit Australia.

Among Australia's 11 key tourism markets, Indians showed the highest intention to visit Australia for a holiday.

The research surveyed 1,200 Indian customers who were selected on the basis of their previous long-haul travel behaviour and/or their intention to travel long haul in the next few years.

The Anholt-GfK Roper Nation Brands Index has ranked Australia ninth for the last three years.

According to the index, Australia's key strengths are its reputation in governance and tourism. Australia has the highest ranking in the people category and is also rated as one of the most desirable places to live and work. The index examines six dimensions of competence: exports, governance, culture, people, tourism, immigration and investment.

In the 2012 Reputation Institute's Country RepTrak survey of 22,000 consumers in the G8 countries (UK, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, USA, Canada and Japan), Australia continues to have an extremely strong reputation among residents of these countries. Of the 52 countries measured, Australia ranks third behind Canada and Sweden. The institute's selection of countries for the survey was based on a combination of criteria, including (a) largest economies, (b) largest populations, and (c) country of interest due to recent economic, political or natural events.

As a part of its India 2020 Strategy, Tourism Australia intends to develop its future marketing activities in India, and identify opportunities to encourage more Indians to visit Australia. (ANI)

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