Barry's pitch to India

NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell says Indian tourists no longer think of Australia as unsafe and have moved on from concerns over a spate of student attacks.

Let's hug it out.

That's the message NSW wants to send to India in a bid to lure the country's lucrative tourist dollar.

NSW has launched a Bollywood-themed advertising campaign targeting the burgeoning Indian middle class - estimated to hit 250 million by 2015.

The "Jhappi Time" campaign, which translates to `Hug Time', urges Indians to come to Sydney to reunite with loved ones abroad.

"India is a young country with an expanding middle class and so trying to tap into that tourism stream is incredibly important," NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell told reporters in Sydney.

The four advertising spots show Indian families enjoying renowned attractions such as Bondi Beach, the Hunter Valley and the Blue Mountains.

Directed by Sydney-based Bollywood director Anupam Sharma, they'll be shown in Indian cinemas, on billboards and run in print publications.

"This campaign is as important for NSW as `throw another shrimp on the barbie' was for Australia a number of decades ago," Mr O'Farrell said.

Inbound tourism from India raised about $183 million for NSW last year.

Mr O'Farrell said he believed the Indian community had moved on since a series of much-publicised attacks on students tarnished relations between the countries in 2010.

"We've all got over it," Mr O'Farrell said.

Source AAP

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