WA banks on Perth flights to kick-start pursuit of Indian tourists

Perth's newest stadium officially opened in January this year, stadium has a capacity of over 60,000 people

The ministry of tourism in Western Australia is planning a multi-million-dollar push in India while seeking to address the lack of direct air connectivity from the country.

In the coming months, Western Australia will roll out a marketing campaign in the Indian market, investing A$300,000 (US$214,284). In the first phase, it is partnering Thomas Cook to market tour packages for the first-ever cricket test match between India and Australia taking place in the brand-new stadium in Perth in December 2018.

Perth’s newest stadium officially opened in January this year; it has has a capacity of over 60,000 people

“In the next three years, there will be a multi-million-dollar investment in the Indian market post the commencement of direct flights to Perth,” minister of tourism, Western Australia, Paul Papalia, said.

During his visit to India last week, he held discussions with airlines as well as Indian minister of state for civil aviation, Jayant Sinha, to push for direct connectivity to Perth.

Indian national carrier, Air India, has agreed to explore the business case for the route.

Papalia: substantial investment in the India to lure more outbound traffic

“We have not marketed Western Australia in India as a tourism destination in the past. Our government is committed to diversify our economy beyond the commodity market. Building the Indian tourism market is a key focus area of this outlook. We are trying for direct connectivity to Perth and project our destination as the western gateway to Australia in the Indian market,” said Papalia.

The tourism minister added that though they are keen on direct flights from key markets like New Delhi and Mumbai, they are open to connectivity from other Indian cities as well.

“We are eyeing four-times weekly flights to begin with. Most of the Indians know about destinations like Sydney, Melbourne and Gold Coast but are unaware about our offerings. We want to present Western Australia for Indian travellers who want an authentic experience,” said Papalia.

As part of its other engagements to grow the Indian market, the ministry has also appointed a specialist to represent its tourism sector at the trade commission office in Mumbai. Presently, Western Australia receives about 28,000 leisure tourists from the Indian market.

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