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‘Destination NSW is developing a long term strategy for India to further develop the market’

New South Wales (NSW) witnessed a whopping 21.2% increase in Indian
tourist arrivals in the year ending August 2014. This
feat was attributed to the state’s Jhappi Time campaign by
the state. 

New South Wales (NSW) witnessed a whopping 21.2% increase in Indian
tourist arrivals in the year ending August 2014. This
feat was attributed to the state’s Jhappi Time campaign by
the state. 

Commenting on the achievement, Deputy Premier and Minister
for Tourism and Major Events Troy Grant said, “Tourism from India is currently worth an
estimated $182 million to the NSW economy.”

Additionally, Sydney, the state capital of New South Wales,
has year after year emerged as the most popular destination among Indian
tourists. India Tourism Review talked to  Sandra Chipchase, CEO, Destination
NSW
, which is the statutory authority taking care of tourism in the region, to
know more about the response that the campaign received from Indian outbound market
and their future plans.

1. New South Wales is the
only Australian state to create an exclusive campaign to attract Indian
tourists. What 
was the motivation and how
has the response been so far? 

India is the tenth largest inbound tourism market to New South Wales
(NSW).  The state is also the most
visited region in Australia by the Indian market while Sydney is the Indian
markets’ most visited region in the year ending 
September 2014.  Tourism from
India is also currently worth an estimated $192 million Australian dollars to
the NSW economy. 
(Source IVS YE
September 2014)
 

With Australia featuring high on Indian travellers’ “wish list” of
places to visit, we wanted to come up with a concept that would differentiate ourselves from other states in
Australia.  We brought Director Anupam
Sharma on board to get the concept and the cultural authenticity right and
worked together as a team to create the Jhappi Time Campaignto promote travel
to Sydney and the State of New SouthWales.
 

During the first phase of the campaign, four 60 second videos were developed
around the theme of family and friends missing loved ones that have moved NSW. The campaign was designed
to connect emotionally with the Indian market’s strong sense of family values
andmotivate travellers to visit Sydney to 
reconnect with loved ones. The creative approach was developed
tocapitalise on the strong family/VFR ties among  
Indian families, with the aim to drive conversion to travel. 

The response has been very promising with the latest ABS data showing
arrivals from India to NSW increased by 21.2 per cent for year-end August 2014, and the hugely successfulJhappi Time campaign no doubt
contributed to this result. 

Already, the Jhappi Time
campaign videos, have achieved more than three million views online – more than double the original target.  

The Indian travel industry has also recognised the enormous potential of
the campaign, with seven key travel trade partners promoting and selling travel packages and airfare offers to the Indian
market.  To date, our industry partners in India have sold travel packages to NSW worth more than $3 million
to the State. 

 

2.
‘Jhappi Time’ primarily targeted families. How about other segments? How do you
plan to target them?

As you have noted the Jhappi Time campaign, is the only
tourism campaign developed by an Australian state tourism body specifically
targeting the VFR market in India.  Families are definitely a key target,
however the benefit of targeting this market is that it covers all ages from young people visiting
their friends to older couples visiting their grandchildren.  

The marketing campaign was also launched
to appeal to both potential visitors in India (VFR)and the interstate Indian VFR market in Sydney andNSW. 

Destination NSW also partners with
airlines, trade partners and online travel agencies to target the Indian market
more widely to promote travel to Sydney and NSW.

In September last year, Air
India commenced direct flights from India to Sydney and this development has been
a vital part of our push to encourage Indians to travel to Sydney. 

3.
What are your expectations from the Indian outbound market to Australia, in
terms of number of tourists?

Indian visitors to Australia are expected to increase from 160,000 in
2012-13 to 298,000 in 2022-23,anaverage annual growth rate of 6.4%.  In 2022-23,
India will move from its current ranking of Australia’s eleventh largest single
source visitor market  to number eighth
in ranking.  

Source: Tourism Forecasts, Autumn 2014, TRA (includes
children less than 15 years).
 

The NSW Government’s goal is to double visitor expenditure to NSW by
2020. In order to achieve this Destination NSW is developing a long term strategy for India to further
develop the market. 
 

4. What are the major
destinations that are/could be of significant interest to Indians visiting New
South Wales?

The Indian market visitsseveral
areas of NSW with Sydney attracting 95% of all Indian leisure (Holiday and VFR) overnight visitors.
For Indian leisure visitors to NSW, the most popular destinations
outside of Sydney,  typically for a day trip are  the Blue Mountains
(72%), the North Coast including Port Stephens and the Hunter Valley (21%) and
the 
South Coast including Wollongong attracting 15% of
Indian leisure visitors.  
 

The Jhappi TimeCampaign also promoted
Sydney and Regional NSW including the Blue Mountains.  

As far as activities go, there
is a growing interest in self drive, luxury and the honeymoon sectors along
with our great food offerings including
seafood, vegetarian and halal options. 
Destination NSW also has a comprehensive 
guide on halal dining
options on the
website. 

5.
How do you plan to promote New South Wales among travel trade? Can we look out
for some incentives or 
roadshows
or FAM trips or training programs in the near future from New South Wales
tourism?

Destination NSW is always working
to build awareness of what Sydney and NSW has to offer for travel trade in
India, and the Jhappi Time campaign
is a great example of this.  In addition
to consumer advertising, objectives of the program included targeted travel trade advertising – increasing the awareness
and appeal of Sydney/NSW, while educating trade and customers on the range of experiences, events, and products
on offer. 

Destination NSW also conducts
regular familiarisations and training programs for the Indian travel trade to
educate the industry and develop new programs to promote Sydney and Regional NSW.  

6.
What are the roadblocks you are facing/have faced in promoting New South Wales
as a prime destination 
amongst
Indian travel agents/tourists?

India is a late booking market,
with travellers planning their holiday about 2-3 months (or less) prior to
departure. This makes it challenging to plan and provide introductory offers and
itineraries in the market. 

Long haul outbound travel is
generally expensive from India and there is a perception that Australia also
fits into this category.  Interestingly,
as a long haul destination Indian travellers have actually ranked Australia as
number 1 in value for money travel
according to Tourism Australia’s Consumer Demand Project
May 2014. 

Awareness and knowledge of NSW’s
wide variety of experiences from stunning beaches to coastal drives and world
heritage listed rainforest is a challenge.  In order to showcase the undiscovered parts of
the state, Destination NSW is committed to engaging with trade and providing training to raise awareness
of the wonderful regions of NSW that are still waiting to be discovered by the Indian traveller. 

7. How well connected is the state with India?

Destination NSW has strong ties
with India.  In November 2012, NSW
entered into a sister-state agreement with Maharashtra, which was an
important step towards the relationship between the two economies.
 

Destination NSW is also the first
State Tourism Organisation in Australia to open a dedicated office in
India.  The Mumbai office is run by Country Manager, Paramjit Bawa and supported by a
Business Development Manager and Marketing Coordinator.  Their core focus is to develop the Indian
inbound tourism market to NSW.  The
office works closely with airlines, travel trade, media and business event
organisers to develop and promote Sydney and NSW for both holiday visitation and
as the preferred destination for meetings, incentives, conferences and
exhibitions.
 

Destination NSW has also invested
in the film industry in India, most recently the new film UNINDIAN, which stars
former Australian cricketer, Brett Lee, from Wollongong NSW who plays opposite internationally  acclaimed Indian actress, Tannishtha Chatterjee. Directed and produced by
Anupam Sharma, UNINDIAN has been filmed exclusively in New South Wales to showcase our state to audiences worldwide. 

The Jhappi Timecampaign videos were also shown in cinemas in several
Indian cities as part of The Australian Film Festival, which Destination NSW
supported in India, further displaying our commitment to the Indian market. 

 

 

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