INDIAN travellers are flocking Down Under for a taste of Australia's F&B offerings and local sellers have responded with wine tours and food safaris catered to this segment.
Brigid Kennedy, executive officer, Ultimate Winery Experiences of Australia, said: “We have seen the emergence of Indian tourists curious about wine and are designing special itineraries to cater visits to Hunter Valley, Margaret River, Jacob’s Creek and De Bortoli, and wineries in Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley, combining wine tourism and gastronomy with leisure activities we believe Indians will love.”
Penny Rafferty, executive officer, Luxury Lodges of Australia, shared: “Across our lodges in Ayers Rock, Great Barrier Reef, Barossa Valley, Kangaroo Island and Margaret River, we are offering food safaris geared towards the Indian guest. Coupled with unique luxury residences, we foresee excellent growth from this market.”
Other eno-gastronomic tours available in Australia include truffle picking, grape plucking, wine blending and barbecue competitions.
Andrew McEvoy, managing director, Tourism Australia: "The world travels on its stomach. That need must be satisfied in the most complete way."
Tourism Australia will conduct roadshows in Mumbai, New Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad between September and October to showcase Australia’s tourism offerings and boost inbound arrivals.
Nishant Kashikar, manger India, Tourism Australia, commented: “Our Tourism 2020 Strategy states that India’s overnight visitor spend has the potential to reach between A$1.8-$2.2 billion (US$1.6-$2 billion), and that visitor numbers could go up to 300,000 annually.”
Indian arrivals grew 4.8 per cent year-on-year in 1Q2013.
Air India also commenced daily flights to Sydney and Melbourne on August 29, connecting New Delhi with Australia after a 16-year hiatus (TTG Asia e-Daily, July 16, 2013).