Visiting relatives of Indian families who have settled in Orange are contributing to a major boost in tourist numbers.
NSW Tourism Minister Adam Marshall said the number of Indian visitors to NSW had grown by 120 per cent and their expenditure had nearly doubled in the past five years.
“India has been our state’s fastest growing inbound tourism market for the past five year it shows no sign of slowing,” he said.
An Indian community leader in Orange, Vijay Bohra, said the number of relatives from India visiting family who had settled in Orange was rising.
“When the family come out their relatives, their brothers and sisters, like to come out to see them,” he said.
“It has increased.
“While the relatives come here they also like to explore the heritage and the culture.
“They come for a month at least.”
He said Indian parents often came out to be with their children when a grandchild was born.
“The parents, they will stay for three to six months, then they might go back for four months and come out again.”
He said Air India now ran a direct daily flight from New Delhi to Sydney and Melbourne to meet the demand.
“It is 100 per cent booked out,” he said.
Mr Bohra, the president of the Indian community group, Desi Aussies of Orange, said there were about 800 people from India living in Orange.
He said they were employed in a range of fields from the health sector to education and hospitality.
The state government is seeking to further cement tourism ties with India to encourage tourists to Sydney and regional areas.
It has invited 30 India-based travel agents to NSW to meet tourism businesses as part of the 2018 Focus On India workshop.
The International Visitor Survey for 2017 released this week by the state government showed 852,000 international visitors [up 11 per cent on 2016] spent $1.05 billion [up 19 per cent] in rural and regional NSW.