Melbourne: With Indian overseas travelers market poised to grow exponentially in the next decade, Tourism Australia has come out with a detailed plan to lure at least 300,000 tourists by 2020.

The Indian visitors would spend more than $2 billion while touring Australia for tourism and other short term purposes.

Tourism Australia strategic plan, released by Tourism minister Martin Ferguson in Perth Friday, projects the size of the cashed-up Indian globetrotters to be around 50 million by 2020.

"India is a market of strong future potential for Australian tourism given this nation's rapid rise through this Asian Century,'' Tourism Australia managing director Andrew McEvoy said at a function to release Tourism Australia's India 2020 Strategic Plan.

"Tourism Australia understands both the potential and location of the desired, future Indian visitor to Australia, yet we also acknowledge this is a unique and complex market, that is becoming increasingly competitive and which needs a clear, strategic approach to build a platform for any substantive future success by our industry," Tourism Australia chief said.

Andrew McEvoy's enthusiasm for the Indian market found reflection in the speech by the Australian Minister of Tourism Martin Ferguson in the Strategic Plan release function.

"India is already one of the world's fastest growing outbound travel markets and is predicted to grow to 50 million outbound travellers by 2020," he said.

"Last year, India contributed A$867 million to the Australian economy and has the potential to contribute up to A$2.3 billion annually by the end of this decade if we successfully grow our market share," the minister added.

Currently, India is Australia's 11th largest inbound tourism market, with around 150,000 visitors spending A$867 million last financial year.

Part of the Tourism Plan to double the current figure of Indians coming down under by 2020, is to increase the number of flights between India and Australia.

It seems to be an achievable target as the Indian market is growing at a compounded rate of over 12 percent every year for the last one decade.

Australia's tourism industry planners have already started implementing various strategies to grow in a "unique and complex" market of Indian overseas travelers.

The market spend to promote destinations in Australia would double this year.

"The major cities of Delhi and Mumbai, and the affluent middle class travellers within them, will be Tourism Australia's primary consumer marketing and distribution targets to sustainably grow Indian visitation to Australia,'' Andrew McEvoy said in Perth.

"Long haul holiday travel taken by Indians out of their country remains at relative small levels, but is developing fast as global travel is now appearing on many Indians life resume," he said.

"By investing now Australia can strengthen its position to be better placed for the future when long-haul travel, in particular leisure, becomes more common, whilst also working to secure additional business event inspired travel from India," McEvoy added.

Initially, Tourism Australia marketing thrust would be focused on India's two most populous metropolitan cities.

"In the short term the focus will be on Delhi and Mumbai, ensuring marketing and distribution and optimised," Tourism Australia Strategic Plan for the Indian market reads.

"Four additional cities have been identified for possible targeted marketing and strengthening of distribution. By focusing resources more tightly, better marketing cut through is expected to have greater impact in the two major centres," the Plan further reads.

The "There's Nothing Like Australia" television ad campaign is likely to roll out in India by the end of this year.

(Agencies)

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