NEW DELHI: Indians are lapping up the first major cricketing event post relaxation of international travel restrictions — the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 that kicks off in Australia on October 16. Tickets for the India-Pakistan match on October 23 (a day before Diwali) at Melbourne Cricket Ground have already been sold out, says Tourism Australia. So far the maximum demand for ticket sales for the matches, with the final being on November 13, is from India.
“Based on our sales data so far, we have sold 40% of our packages in India, 27% in North America, 18% in Australia, 15% in UK and rest of the world. Hotel rooms across Melbourne have already been sold. About 45-50,000 fans are expected to arrive in Melbourne for the India-Pakistan match. General Admission tickets were sold out in matter of minutes with only a handful of VIP hospitality experiences remaining,” says Ash Chawla of Global Sports Travel, an Australian-Indian sporting experiences company with global sales rights for ICC “hospitality packages”.
Manoj Saraf, Gainwell Sports MD, said: “Hospitality tickets for India vs Pakistan were in maximum demand and where sold out two months ago. They (ICC) have just launched a new product called Boundary Club with only 300 tickets for India-Pak which too will be sold out this week. India vs South Africa in Perth is the next in demand game… Overall hospitality inventory is being taken up very quickly and should be sold out for all India games by August. The bulk of our sales have been to Indians who will be traveling to Australia but there has been a decent amount of sales to NRIs from Africa, UK and Australia as well.”
Australia was originally supposed to host the ICC Men’s T20 World Cups from October 18 to November 15, 2020. Tourism Australia had planned to attract lakhs of Indian visitors for the mega events. But then Covid struck and global travel went in a deep freeze. It now wants to achieve in 2022 what was planned for 2020.
Nishant Kashikar, Tourism Australia country manager (India and Gulf), told TOI: “This year the tournament coincides with the Diwali holiday period and is expected to be a huge draw. We have already seen massive demand with the tickets for the India – Pakistan match being sold off within a short time of going on sale and the other India matches are also being sought after, not just from passionate cricket fans but also from mid to large sized corporates for who the World Cup presents a perfect opportunity to reward and incentivise their stakeholders.”
According to Tourism Australia in pre-pandemic times, India was the fastest growing inbound market Down under with six straight years of double-digit growth. India was also Australia’s fastest growing inbound tourism market for three consecutive years, pre Covid.
“While we are already witnessing an impressive growth in terms of visitor visa lodgements, which are significantly higher than pre-Covid levels, the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup provides us with a massive opportunity to take this to the next level. We look forward to welcoming our guests from India for an unforgettable cricket experience at our iconic stadiums and also giving them a flavour of our truly distinct way of life,” Kashikar said.
“Australia and India have a strong bond through their shared love for cricket.… To make this one of the largest sporting spectacles in the world, a range of offerings and packages are being introduced for travellers from India in partnership with the ICC’s official ticketing and hospitality agents,” Kashikar added.