Harsha Bhogle named World Cup 2015 ambassador to woo Indians

Harsha Bhogle named World Cup 2015 ambassador to woo IndiansMELBOURNE: Seeking to woo Indian tourists to the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, Tourism Australia has announced new initiatives, including appointing commentator Harsha Bhogle as its new brand ambassador.

Apart from appointing Bhogle, Tourism Australia will also collaborate with several airlines, including Air India, for promoting the 44-day event.

According to the feedback received from the accredited travel agents of the ICC Cricket World cup 2015, over 6,000 Indians are expected to travel Down Under for the event, Tourism Australia’s country manager for India, Nishant Kashikar, said.

Tourism Australia is all set to tap the Indian overseas tourists market by roping in several key airlines to promote attractive airfares during the event and also launch campaigns showcasing hot destinations through advocates like Bhogle.

“Tourism Australia will be collaborating with its key airline partners including Singapore Airlines, Malaysia Airlines and Air India during the January to March 2015 period to promote attractive airfares in to Australia,” he said.

Cricket matches in Australia would be held in cities like Melbourne, Canberra, Sydney and Perth.

Kashikar said that in a bid to leverage the attention and viewership that the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 is slated to receive in India, Tourism Australia (TA) was also planning a robust integrated media campaign, to increase visibility for the country as a tourism destination.

As a part of marketing initiative, TA has also collaborated with Bhogle, who will indulge in leisure activities to showcase to the dedicated followers of his owned social media channels.

Kashikar said that the average spend by an Indian traveler into Australia was 4,350 Australian dollars and it was expected to rise during the upcoming cricket event.

The events expected to woo Indian travelers’ market were the Border – Gavaskar Test Series, ODI Tri-Series with England in January 2015, followed by the prestigious ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.

“Hosting an impressive line-up of matches including absolute crackers like the Boxing Day test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 opener between India and Pakistan at the Adelaide Oval, destination Australia is ready to take its place in the spotlight,” Kashikar said.

According to latest official data, there were 14,200 visitors from India during September 2014, bringing the total for the nine months to September to 140,400, an increase of 17.8 per cent, compared to the same period previous year. –PTI