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Indian tourist numbers reach re...

Indian tourist numbers reach record high in Australia despite demonetisation

The number of tourists travelling to Australia from India reached its highest monthly total in December 2016, new statistics show.

Figures collated by Tourism Australia show that 29,500 people visited Australia from India during the month, marking a significant increase of 13 per cent from the 26,100 Indian tourists who travelled 'down under' in the same month of the previous year.

There had been concerns that the number of Indian people holidaying in Australia could fall following the demonetisation of 500 INR and 1,000 INR banknotes. However, the new figures show that this has had no effect at all on tourist numbers, with them increasing healthily instead.

The demonetisation came into effect in early November, when 23,600 Indian tourists travelled to Australia. This then rose markedly in December, reaching a new record high, before falling slightly in January to 17,900, but this is not unusual for this time of year.

Meanwhile, throughout the remainder of the first quarter of 2017, the number of people visiting the country from India rose again to 25,800 in February, while the figure for March came in at 24,100.

What's more, the Australian High Commission has revealed that the nation has already received over 30 per cent more applications for tourist visas from abroad during 2017 so far.

Speaking to PTI, Nishant Kashikar, country manager for India and the Gulf at Tourism Australia, explained that there are several attractions that are particularly popular among Indian tourists, including Kangaroo Island tours and trips down the Great Ocean Road.

However, he acknowledged that there is still work to be done to make sure that Indian tourist numbers to Australia can continue to increase, stating: "Air connectivity remains a key challenge, so what we are doing now is getting eight airlines which run their flight services between Australia and India to offer some spectacular air fares and we will promote those campaigns through digital and print mediums."

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