Queensland Govt fears cricket row may hit tourism with India

January 13th, 2008 - 1:51 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Harbhajan Singh

Melbourne, Jan 13 (ANI): The state government is confident that the cricket racial row will not stump a Tourism Queensland trade mission to India.

A delegation left on Saturday for the sub-continent where they hope to strengthen any frayed ties with Indian tourism resulting from the fallout over Australia’s second Test win.

Queensland Tourism Minister Desley Boyle feared the state’s 32 million dollars market could be affected by the cricket row.

“India is one of the state’s fastest growing tourism markets with Tourism Forecasting Council of Australia predicting an average annual growth rate of 17.4 per cent each year to 2016,” she said.

“I have given the group a clear charter to ensure that the fantastic relationship being enjoyed by the two countries tourism industries would not be affected by current issues.”

The delegation will visit more than 600 of India’s key travel industry representatives with stops at New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Bangalore.

It will conclude on January 25 with a cricket game between the delegation and Indian tourism representatives.

Boyle said a new tourism campaign to lure Indian families to Queensland would also be launched as part of the trade mission.

“India is touted as one of the fastest-growing outbound tourism markets in the world,” she said.

“Of the total visitors from India in 2007, a high proportion were visiting Australia for a holiday and of these, approximately half visited Queensland,” the age.com.au quother her, as saying.

Boyle said in the year ending September 2007, Queensland received 24,900 visitors from India, an increase of seven per cent on the previous year.

Indian visitors stayed an average of 17.5 nights in Queensland and spent a total of 32 million dollars in the year to September 2007.

The Indian cricket board has threatened to pull out of its Australian tour if the ICC rejects an appeal against spinner Harbhajan Singh’s three Test ban for racial abuse. (ANI)

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