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Cricket & vacay in Australia!

Australia is gearing up to welcome cricket enthusiasts from around the world to the ICC T20 World Cup, which will be played as two standalone tournaments for women and men across eight Australian cities. The finals for both tournaments will be held at the largest cricket stadium in the world, the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The Women's T20 World Cup is from February 21 – March 8 and the Men's T20 World Cup will commence on October 18 and conclude on November 15.

Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager, India & Gulf, Tourism Australia, said, "We continue to witness an encouraging growth from India, which is now the sixth-largest inbound market for Australia in terms of spend. The ICC T20 World Cups are a fantastic opportunity for us to attract cricket enthusiasts not just to catch the sporting action at our world-class stadiums, but also to enjoy a holiday experiencing spectacular nature, unique wildlife, food and drinks, world-class attractions and enjoying the Australian way of life."

"In India cricket is a religion and there is a huge following for the game so our minister for tourism Simon Birmingham recently announced additional funding of A$5 million for Tourism Australia to promote the upcoming ICC T20 Cricket World Cup to fans in India, with the aim of driving visitation to both the women's and men's tournaments as well as increasing Australia's broader destination appeal in India. And the reason for this investment in India is the fastest-growing inbound market for Australia for three consecutive years. The second reason is our arrival ratio has doubled," he added.

About influx of Indian tourists in Australia, he said: "Australia is ranked pretty high when it comes to aspiration, appeal, intention, desire, ad recall among the target audience. The other major reason for influx is the Australian dollar has been stable as compared to other currencies, so holidaying in Australia has become cheaper than other countries. And most recently we have introduced electronic visas in order to ensure ease of visa applications, Australian of Department of Home Affairs allows travellers from India to apply for a visa online. There is no requirement for personal interviews, submission of a physical copy of your passport or financial documents or biometrics. The average time taken for an online visa to be processed is just 15 days, and the visa is valid for a period of 12 months."

The Indian population in Australia has doubled over the last five years and the Indian diaspora is increasing in Australia. It is also one of the most sought-after destinations for education in the world.

Nishant informed that in 2020 they expect much more traffic from India into Australia as it is the world cup season.

"The women world cup starts in February 2020. There are two significant factors –along with Tourism Australia it is also the ICC's vision that they want to raise the profile of women sports in India and globally as the viewership is quite higher for men's cricket. We want to bridge that gap. And this tourney will be a turning point in the history of women's cricket. We also want to set a world record for attendance at any global women sporting fixture in the stadium. The previous world record was set in 1999 at the women's football world cup in the US around 90,000 people attended came. Melbourne Cricket Ground has 1,00,024 seating capacity and we want a packed MCG on Women's Day and to create a world record," he said and added, "Men's world cup will coincide with Diwali holiday period and there will be a lot of Indians travelling to Australia."

Nishant said an ideal holiday in Australia in a minimum of two weeks. "For the first-time traveller visiting, 2-3 cities is perfect. They could visit the key attractions and icons. The traditional itinerary has been Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast… people (repeat travellers) are now travelling to Adelaide, Perth, Tasmania as well. Two weeks will cost Rs two and a half lakh per person. Australia is the world capital of adventure sports and has something for everyone."

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