Tourism Australia on a mission to attract 1 lakh spectators to Melbourne Cricket Ground on International Women's Day 2020
If you love to watch cricket, you could potentially make history as a spectator at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on March 8 next year.
Australia which was recently announced as the destination for both the ICC Men's and Women's T20 World Cups 2020 is putting the spotlight on women power. The mission? "To fill the stadium with a lakh spectators cheering for women cricketers on International Women's Day," according to Nishant Kashikar, Country Manager, India & Gulf, Tourism Australia. "The idea is to set a world record for the highest attendance at any women's sporting fixture," he elaborates.
"The previous record was set in 1999 at the Women's Soccer World Cup at the Rose Bowl Stadium in California which had about 90,185 people. Melbourne Cricket ground has a capacity of slightly over a lakh, and ICC has the vision that we have a packed stadium cheering for women on March 8, International Women's Day," Kashikar says.
It is no coincidence that this day will mark the finals of the tournament, which starts on February 21.
With funding of 5M AUD allocated by the Australian Minister of Trade, Tourism and Investment, Simon Birmingham - to promote these tournaments - over "30,000 to 40,000 Indians are expected to visit Australia next year," according to Kashikar. But apart from increasing visitation and upping tourism numbers at large, he emphasises, "We are working with the International Cricket Council which has a vision of making this event a turning point in the history of women's sports."
The process of applying for a visa has become very simple. You can do it sitting at home on your computer, you do not have to stand in long queues for biometrics or your personal interviews, nor do you have to physically submit any copies of your passport or any financial documents. It's completely private, you get documents scanned at your convenience, upload them online and visas are processed in a matter of 15 days and valid for 12 months.
The number of students studying in Australia has increased quite significantly. Last year, saw a 38 per cent increase and today, there are almost over 90,000 Indian students studying in Australia.
India is today the fastest-growing inbound market for Tourism Australia. More specifically, standing at number 8 in terms of arrivals and number 6 in terms of spending. That means five consecutive years of double-digit growth in arrivals and spend. This includes holidays, business and conferences, education and employment.
In the last financial year, Indian visitors spent 1.7 billion Australian dollars (approximately
INR 8,300 crore) on their Australian trips, an increase of 12 per cent over the previous year.
The average cost per trip for Indian visitors was 4,900 Australian dollars (approximately INR 240,000).