India is the top travel destination for Australians.

Posted on May 24, 2022 by

Australia has reopened its borders to international travelers on February 21, 2022, marking the end of nearly two years of its Zero-COVID-19 policy.

India has become the top travel destination for Australian residents as borders reopen after the country’s government lifted COVID-19 pandemic-induced travel restrictions.

According to February month travel data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), more than 20,000 Australian residents have returned from their trips to India. It is much higher than in the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK). The numbers stood at 12,760 for the United States of America (USA) and 8150 for the United Kingdom.

The report has also pointed out that 9,380 Indian tourists visited Australia in February 2022. India is second on the visitors’ list, and the United Kingdom (UK) remained on top with 13,440 visitor trips to Australia.

According to a 2020 ABS report, India-born residents (7,21,000) are the second-largest group of migrants in Australia, after the United Kingdom (9,80,400).

Earlier this month, Qantas had announced new direct routes to India. Qantas is Australia’s largest airline by fleet size, and this move reflects the changing mood of authorities who are optimistic about the future of tourism between the two countries.

Qantas will fly non-stop from Bengaluru to Sydney from September 14. Four weekly return flights will be operated between Kempegowda International Airport and Sydney’s Kingsford Smith International Airport.

Qantas is also finalizing a codeshare partnership with IndiGo to make travel between India and Australia easier.

Australia has recently reopened its borders to international travelers on February 21, marking the end of nearly two years of its Zero-COVID-19 policy that saw it shut off its borders.

The Australian tourism department now believes that the pent-up demand could see annual tourist visits from India alone hit the one-million mark by 2030.

That will be a massive relief for the Indian tourism industry which continues its recovery from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the back of a surge in local tourism as schools in the country shut down for the summer vacation. The overall international tourists to India have continued to stay low -and their number may perhaps take some time to recover as the country was one of the worst-hit by the second wave of COVID-19. It recently fell eight places to 54th position in the Global Travel Development Index released bi-annually by the World Economic Forum (WEF) from 46th position two years earlier – a fall that reflected the impact of COVID-19.

Australia was ranked seventh in this Global Travel Development Index in 117 economies and was the top country in the Eastern hemisphere. The only other country in the Eastern hemisphere to make it to the top ten was Singapore in the tenth position. Meanwhile, India was at the top among South Asian countries despite facing a fall in its rank.

The tourism trade from Australia might help set the country on a recovery path even as the nation’s travel industry experts keep an eye on the rising aviation fuel prices and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict and their possible effects on the industry’s growth in the coming year.

Australia’s New confidence may be attributed to India’s managing the world’s largest vaccination drive as it completed the COVID-19 vaccination course of two jabs for millions of people. The union government of India has even reduced the required period of 9 months from the second dose for taking a preventive jab to a mere three months for those wanting to travel abroad for education and other purposes, thus making it easier for its citizens to travel to countries like Australia.