Tourism Australia is welcoming back travellers from India with borders now open for quarantine-free travel, for fully vaccinated visa holders.
Pre-COVID, India was Australia’s fastest-growing inbound tourism market for three years. In 2019, Australia welcomed almost 400,000 visitors from India and was the sixth most valuable market for spend, contributing over A$ 1.8 billion.
“At Tourism Australia we are so excited to be welcoming back international visitors who make up a critical part of our visitor economy. We know Australia remains an incredibly desirable destination, especially for visitors from India and we can’t wait to once again share all of the unforgettable tourism experiences we have to offer here in Australia,” Tourism Australia Managing Director Phillipa Harrison said.
Tourism Australia Country Manager – India, Nishant Kashikar said, “Our research has consistently shown that there is a huge pent-up demand for travel to Australia amongst Indian travellers. Through our campaign activities, engaging Public Relations (PR) and Advocacy initiatives, collaborations with Key Distribution Partners (KDPs) and airline partners, we are optimistic of converting this demand and seeing India return to growth in arrivals to Australia.”
Tourism Australia’s recent Consumer Demand Project research suggests that 1.8 Mn (or 82 per cent) out of 2.2 Mn high-value yravellers from India intend to visit Australia over the next two years. This demand is well complemented by the boost to direct aviation access between India and Australia with the commencement of direct flights by Qantas and Air India in recent times.
Another initiative to encourage holiday visitors from India is the Visa Application Charge (VAC) waiver announcement by the Department of Home Affairs, for those tourists whose visa to Australia has either expired or will expire between March 20, 2020, and June 30, 2022.
In the upcoming weeks, Tourism Australia will be collaborating with travel partners including MakeMyTrip, Pick Your Trail, Thomas Cook, SOTC, Kesari Tours, Kulin Kumar Holidays, Travel Tours, Veena World and airline partners including Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Air India and Qantas amongst others to encourage early bookings to Australia and influence Indian travellers to take an Australian holiday for the summer travel period.
Australia will be hosting the ICC T20 Cricket World Cup from 22 October – 13 November this year and it presents a fantastic opportunity for Indian cricket loving tourists and business travellers to visit and enjoy an experience of the game and beyond.
Department of Home Affairs has started processing all visa categories and urges you to lodge your visa applications as early as you can, before the intended date of departure.
Visa Application Charge (VAC) Waiver for Tourists
If a traveller held a Visitor visa (Subclass 600) that expired or will expire, between March 20, 2020, and June 30, 2022, then you will be able to apply for a future Visitor visa, at no cost, under Visa Application Charge (VAC) waiver provisions. You must lodge your application by December 31, 2022, to receive the VAC Waiver. You can indicate your eligibility for the VAC waiver when you apply for your new visa.
TRAVELLING TO AUSTRALIA
Before departing from India, travellers need to have a:
- Valid visa
- Vaccination certificate with two doses (Both Covishield and Covaxin are recognized by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration – TGA)
- Negative rapid antigen test (RAT) under medical supervision (24 hours prior) or Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Covid-19 test taken within 72 hours prior to departure
- Digital Passenger Declaration to be submitted 72 hours prior to departure.
Vaccination exceptions and arrangements for children below 18 years
All travellers need to undertake a self-monitored, Rapid Antigen Test (RAT), within 24 hours of arrival into Australia i.e. New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, Australian Capital Territory, etc. Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) results need to be reported to the respective state authority only if you test positive.
Tourists travelling to South Australia will have to undertake a PCR test within 24 hours of arrival and those travelling to Western Australia will have to undergo a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) within 12 hours of arrival.
Travellers will need to comply with requirements in the state or territory of their arrival, and any other state or territories that they plan to travel to or transitioning through. Information on entry requirements is updated regularly so it is important to check the latest requirements before travelling.