Forecast decline in Indian student arrivals to hit Australian economy

15:23, December 30, 2009      

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New Australian tourism forecasts released on Wednesday predicted a 21 percent drop in education arrivals from India, resulting in an economic loss of 78 million Australian dollars (69.5 million U.S. dollars).

The decline has been attributed to a spate of attacks on Indian students that cast a shadow over the Australian education industry in mid-2009.

Up to 4,000 fewer Indian students will travel to Australia in 2010, after growth of 35 percent this year, Tourism Forecasting Committee data estimates.

Gautam Gupta, the President of the Federation of Indian Students of Australia, said the forecast is not as bad as his organization first predicted.

"We were predicting a drop of about 50 percent," he told Australian Broadcasting Corporation Radio.

"So, if the drop is about 20 percent, that's significantly lower than what was the prediction about three months back."

Indian student numbers could rebound as soon as 2011 if the attack rate continued to fall, Gupta said.

Source: Xinhua

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