India high priority for Victoria tourism

Mumbai: A delegation representing 240 firms, led by Victoria Premier Ted Baillieu, visited India recently to promote the Australian state as a tourism destination.

The delegation, the largest so far, visited Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai.

"Tourism is a major part of Victoria`s economy and India is one of the high priority of this `Super Trade Mission` visiting the country. We saw 20 per cent growth from Indian visitors to Victoria in 2011. We expect a significant growth in 2012 as well," Baillieu said here, at a function.

The delegation comprised 270 members from 240 companies, including 14 leading travel and tour operators from Victoria.

Tourism destinations in Victoria include the Great Ocean Road and the penguins of Phillip Island Nature Park.

"We expect to see 1,20,000 tourists from India by 2020," he said, adding that 62,500 Indians visited Victoria in 2011.

Besides the metros cities, Victoria is also looking to tap the tier-two Indian cities. "We are extending our promotional activities to the tier-two cities as well, where the overseas travel segment is growing," Baillieu said.

"In the past, movies like Saalam Namaste, Chak de India and Mein aur Mrs Khanna were shot in Victoria, showing Melbourne at its best. Going forward we would also like to facilitate other such projects from the Indian film industry," he said.