Australia”s Tourism Industry Bounces Back

Posted on March 28, 2012 in GlobeScope

By Vanessa Picker:

Indian students, skilled workers and tourists are flocking to Australia once again, in light of enhanced security measures and changes to work permits. Due to continuous allegations of targeted attacks on Indian students, Government authorities have enacted strict measures to control the attacks. Overall, the measures have significantly enhanced security and alleviated the fundamental concern of many Indian travelers.

Serious measures have been taken by the Australian government to ensure the safety of international students in Australia. Many of these measures relate directly to Indian students. For instance, there is now an ombudsman for Indian students, to whom complaints can be directly reported to. Additionally, there are more policemen on patrol to guarantee safety and cultural training has ensured that both Indians and Australians are respectfulof cultural differences.

The success of these heightened safety measures is exemplified by the rising numbers of Indian student visa holders and applications. Over the last 12 months, the number of Australian visa applications from Indian students has more than doubled. These figures are prompting claims that Australia has regained its status as a safe and rewarding country to study or work in.

Additionally, Australian immigration authorities have enhanced employment allowances, whilst countries such as the UK have restricted the number of visas available and removed the option to remain in the country after graduating. This is likely to have contributed to the rising number of student visa applications in Australia.

In addition to students, the Australian government has attempted to lure skilled workers back to the country. Australian representative Peter Varghese recently noted that ‘India is the second largest source of skilled migrants to Australia and we want to see this number increasing’. Importantly, Australia aims to enhance its relationship with India, recognizing that over 300,000 people of Indian origin are now living in Australia. As there is still a huge demand for skilled workers in areas such as Residential Care, this number is likely to increase. Also, recent Immigration Visa changes have made it significantly easier to become a permanent Australian resident.

Measures have been taken by state tourism bodies, to enhance the overall experience of Australia, for Indians. An Optimum Service standard has been enacted by various states such as New South Wales, to ensure that the needs of Indian travelers are met. The optimum standards ensure quality service and products, and most significantly, cultural and religious respect. Staff members are often provided with cultural training, Indian dishes are included on many menus, hotel welcome kits can be provided in Hindi and Indian television channels and newspapers are often provided.

Tourism Australia has played a key role in enhancing exposure, in relation to the tightened security measures and changes to work permits, which make Australia a favorable destination.Importantly, the Tourism Australia website provides substantial amounts of information for Indian students, tourists and skilled workers, in relation to living in Australia.

In light of the enhanced safety measures and changes to work permits, Australia has regained its status as a favorable destination for Indian students, skilled workers and tourists. The growth in the number of Indian arrivals is likely to continuously increase, as Australian governments have made a long term commitment to enhancing the safety and overall experience for Indians.