New Delhi: Visitor arrivals from India to Australia have crossed the 3 lakh mark for the year ended December 2017, three years ahead of its target date, Tourism Australia today said. This is an increase of 15.4 per cent over the previous year, the government agency said in a statement.

"India emerged as the fastest growing inbound market for Australia during 2017, with arrivals and spend increasing by 15.2 per cent and 26 per cent respectively," Tourism Australia India and Gulf Country Manager Nishant Kashikar told PTI. It was the fourth consecutive year of double-digit growth in arrivals and spend from Indian arrivals, he added.

"Australia is home to some of the world's best tourism experiences and has been growing in appeal as an aspirational destination for Indian travellers," Kashikar said. Sustained marketing and PR activities over the years have increased Australia's awareness and attractiveness among Indians travellers, he added.

"Localisation of our global campaigns such as There's Nothing Like Australia and Restaurant Australia have raised the destination's share of voice in the media and public relations space in India," Kashikar said. There has been a consistent effort at the introduction of new products and experiences from a trade distribution perspective and innovative direct to consumer communication initiatives that have been implemented to build and sustain Australia's preference as a holiday destination, he added.

"We will continue to intensify our efforts, with an aim to be within the top five inbound markets for Australia by 2025," Kashikar said. To achieve this goal, focus will be on the high value traveller, who have the propensity to not just travel, but also contribute significantly to the Australian economy, he added. The other initiatives will be promotion of new products, experiences and destinations to increase length of stay, dispersal and yield, Kashikar said.

Collaboration with key airline partners to increase aviation capacity on the India–Australia route and facilitating access through online lodgement of visitor visa applications, are other initiatives that are being taken, he added. Tourism Australia is the Australian Government agency responsible for promoting Australia as a destination for business and leisure travel.