Sydney looks to cricket super series to hook Indian tourists

MUMBAI: There is no place in the world like Sydney!

That is the catchline for a promotional campaign being done by the New South Wales (NSW) tourism board and will cost Aus $4 million. For the Indian component NSW is looking at next year's cricket super series test match between Australia and a rest of the world side to attract Indians.

NSW is also exploring business opportunities and areas of cooperation with India like bio technology, infotech, research and education. NSW Premier Bob Carr has come to Mumbai with a trade delegation for this purpose. Addressing an eclectic gathering last evening Carr said, "We expect a 15 per cent annual growth in Indian tourism to Sydney.

"The cricket super series test match will have a huge pull for Indians as we expect some of their leading stars to participate. We anticipate that $ 11.5 million will accrue to Sydney as a result of the event. India's passion for cricket is so great that the event will allow us to promote Sydney even more than what we had done four years ago when we staged the Olympics."

A cornerstone of the promotional programme will see Indian journalists visiting Sydney. They will carry articles in the local papers about their experiences and the facilities that Sydney has to offer as a tourist destination and also as a business hub. There will also be special travel packages courtesy Quantas for Indians for the Super Series.

From September Qantas has been operating direct flights from Mumbai to Sydney. Carr added that Australia was the third choice for Indian students studying abroad. "Very soon we will overtake the UK and be second only to the US."

The Super Series test match takes place from 14 -19 October 2005. Tourism NSW regional director South and South East Asia Tan Siew Hoon added, " Sydney is a hub for Australia's delicious food, shopping, soft adventures. Activities like the Sydney harbour bridge climb, Harley Davidson rides, Sydney Seaplane rides and iconic attractions like the Opera House have proven to be a big hit with visitors."

Hoon said that an ad campaign would be looked at as the Super series date draws near. However as of now there are no plans to rope in any of the Australian cricketers as brand amsaadors.

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