Tourism Australia eyes Indian footfall for World T20 2020

The inflow of Indian visitors to Australia had increased significantly during the last World Cup in 2015, a trend grasped keenly by Tourism Australia.

The buzz generated by the India-Pakistan game at the Adelaide Oval was one of the highlights of the 2015 World Cup.   -  Getty Images

Learning from its experience of receiving a large number of Indian cricket lovers during the 2015 World Cup here, Tourism Australia is eyeing to cash in on the ICC World T20 event to be hosted Down Under in 2020.

The inflow of Indian visitors to Australia had increased significantly during the last World Cup. The India-Pakistan duel at the Adelaide Oval here in front of a packed house was one of the biggest attractions of the showpiece event.

“We have our eyes on the 2020 World T20 (from October 18 to November 15). We think that's a great platform. What we saw in the 2015 World Cup was that it was a start of the growth in the leisure market for India,” Tourism Australia (TA) managing director John O'Sullivan told Sportstar during the Australia Tourism Exchange 2018.

‘In discussion’

“We are in discussion with the (World T20) organising committee how to leverage it. We will have a look at it in the coming months and years,” added O'Sullivan on a major initiative to lure more visitors from India, which has recently emerged as the fastest growing market for TA.

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O'Sullivan said various cricketing activities, such as visiting the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Badman Collection here, Bowral Museum, Big Bash League (BBL), exchange programmes between cricket clubs of both countries and young cricketers from India travelling to be coached by well known coaches Down Under, were able to draw more people from India.

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Besides, adventure sports and activities such as Adelaide Oval roof climb and jet boating and climbing in Sydney Harbour helped.

‘Not concerned’

O'Sullivan said BBL had the potential to attract Indian cricket lovers. “The number of Indian (women) players is increasing in the BBL... It will be great to have them (top names like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, etc.).”

Asked about the impact of the recent ball tampering episode, O'Sullivan said, “I have not seen any negative impact. People commented on the tragedy of it, but what was really nice was the Australian reaction to it. I am not concerned about it at all.”

(The writer is Adelaide at the invite of Tourism Australia)