Australia welcomes Indian travelers, offers incentives
Australia has welcomed Indian travelers with a welcome note which stated “delighted to be welcoming back travellers from India”.
It has also waived visa application charge for Indian tourists whose visa to the country has either expired or is expiring between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2022 .
Australia had reopened its international borders to travelers vaccinated against Covid-19 on Monday.
The commencement of direct flights by Qantas and Air India in recent times will also come as a boost to travellers, Tourism Australia stated in a press release, adding that their recent Consumer Demand Project research suggests that 1.8 million (or 82%) out of 2.2 million ‘High Value Travellers’ from India intend to visit Australia over the next two years.
There will also be a huge demand for travel to Australia ahead of the ICC World T20 tournament which will be held in October and November this year.
“Our research has consistently shown that there is a huge pent-up demand for travel to Australia amongst Indian travellers. Through our campaign activities, engaging Public Relations (PR) and Advocacy initiatives, collaborations with Key Distribution Partners (KDPs) and airline partners, we are optimistic of converting this demand and seeing India return to growth in arrivals to Australia,” Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager (India and Gulf), Tourism Australia, was quoted as saying in the press release.
Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said, “At Tourism Australia we are so excited to be welcoming back international visitors who make up a critical part of our visitor economy. We know Australia remains an incredibly desirable destination, especially for visitors from India and we can’t wait to once again share all of the unforgettable tourism experiences we have to offer here in Australia.”
Tourism Australia further stated that it will be collaborating with travel partners, including MakeMyTrip, Pick Your Trail, Thomas Cook, SOTC, Kesari Tours, Kulin Kumar Holidays, Travel Tours, Veena World, and airline partners including, Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Air India and Qantas amongst others, to encourage early bookings to Australia.
Travellers who held a visitor visa (Subclass 600) that expired, or will expire between 20 March 2020 and 30 June 2022, can apply for a future visitor visa, at no cost, under Visa Application Charge (VAC) waiver provisions. But they must put in their applications by December 31 to be eligible for the waiver.
People travelling to Australia need to have a valid visa, a vaccination certificate showing two doses of Covishield or Covaxin have been taken and a negative rapid antigen test or RT-PCR result, with the test having been taken within 72 hours prior to departure. Moreover, they need to submit a digital passenger declaration 72 hours prior to their departure.
All travellers need to undertake a self-monitored rapid antigen test within 24 hours of their arrival in Australia. Moreover, tourists to South Australia will have to undertake a PCR test within 24 hours of arrival while those travelling to Western Australia will have to undergo a rapid antigen test within 12 hours of arrival.