The two-day visit took forward the momentum that was gained during the Western Australia Government’s India Mission in July 2022, with the state’s tourism body meeting with key officials of top airlines at as Western Australia looks to develop direct aviation connections between the two destinations to boost visitation.
Minister Cook said he was hopeful a direct flight would be established between India and Perth. “India is a priority market for Western Australia, and we continue to work with our valued airline partners to further build and grow our aviation capacity between our two regions,” he said, adding, “With the growing diaspora of Indians in Western Australia, the key focus is to tap into the ‘Visiting Friends and Relatives’ market and encourage travellers from India to stay longer and explore more of Western Australia. India represents an enormous growth opportunity for Western Australia’s visitor economy, and direct air connectivity would provide uplift to both the Indian and Western Australian tourism industries.”
Airlines that currently fly to Perth play a critical role in connecting the destinations; however, India is one of Western Australia’s largest markets that remain unserved by a direct airline service. “The Western Australian Government is committed to working with the Indian tourism and aviation sectors, as well as Perth Airport, to secure more aviation connections to India,” shares Minister Cook.
The number of Indian visitors to Western Australia, the largest state of Australia, has grown in recent years. In 2019, India represented Western Australia’s 11th largest tourism market by visitor numbers, with more than 30,000 travellers from India visiting the state. More recently, India has grown to be Western Australia’s fourth largest international market for visitor numbers in 2023.
The WA Government, through Tourism Western Australia, is cementing the state’s reputation as the Western Gateway to Australia, by investing heavily in tourism and aviation. Supported by the AUD $195 million Reconnect WA package, the WA Government, through Tourism Western Australia, is working closely with airlines to develop a direct route, while also investing in marketing, event development and visitor experiences.