Tourism Australia has launched its bi-yearly ‘Virtual Travel Fair’, an online travel sale offering attractive deals for Indian travelers, in a move to encourage further tourist travel to the country from India.
Seven major airlines have agreed to collaborate on the initiative, including Air India, Cathay Pacific, China Southern Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Singapore Airlines, SriLankan Airlines, and Thai Airways. The participating airlines will offer bargain fares starting from as little as ₹40,000 (US $557).
Several of Tourism Australia’s key distribution partners and leading online travel agents are also collaborating to offer a range of discounts on hotels, car rentals and recreational experiences in Australia.
The sale runs from November 14th to December 13th, 2019. Flight tickets obtained in the sale will have a travel validity up to December 2020. Previous virtual travel fairs organized by Tourism Australia have resulted in over 87,000 bookings for partner airlines.
Indian Tourist Arrivals to Australia on the Rise
The India and Gulf area manager for Tourism Australia, Nishant Kashikar, stated that the aim of the Virtual Travel Fair is to provide a way for Indian travelers to enjoy value for money holiday experiences in Australia. He added that the initiative has previously helped to vastly boost the number of tourist arrivals from India.
The current travel deals are expected to draw even bigger numbers of Indian tourists, especially given the large number of cricket events in Australia in 2020. Cricket is by far the most popular sport in India, and an important part of local culture.
India is currently the 8th-largest and fastest growing market for tourism to Australia. In December 2017, the Australian government announced that it had already met its Tourism 2020 target for over 300,000 arrivals from India, three years earlier than expected.
Indian tourist arrivals to Australia for 2019 had already reached 386,400 by the end of September, an increase of 12 per cent over the same period from the previous year. Indian visitors spent A$1.8 billion on trips to Australia in the year ending July 2019, an increase of 17 per cent from the numbers for 2018.
The Online Australia Visa from India
Travel to Australia has recently become easier for Indian citizens through the implementation of an electronic application for the Australian visitor visa (subclass 600), which permits a stay in the country for tourism, to visit family, or for business purposes.
The length of validity of an Australian visitor visa for Indian citizens is determined on an individual basis, but can be granted with validity of up to 3, 6, or 12 months. The visa can be issued as either a single or multiple-entry travel document.
Indian citizens who wish to visit Australia for longer periods, or for purposes such as to work or study, are required to apply for a visa from an Australian Embassy or Consulate.
A number of other nationalities are able to apply for one of 2 types of online Indian travel document for tourism. The Australian eVisitor is available for most European nationalities, while the ETA for Australia is available for citizens of Brunei, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States.
Visit onlinevisa.com to check visa requirements to travel to Australia from your country of residence.