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India aims to develop Bilateral Tourism
  • July 2018
 To promote bilateral tourism between India  and  various  countries, an interactive session with Ambassadors and diplomatic representatives  was  held in  New Delhi  under the aegis of the Ambassador’s Forum under “Meet the leader” series.

The  Minister  of State (I/C) for Tourism, Mr. KJ Alphons,  interacted  with  the Ambassadors / representatives of fifteen countries including Austria, Argentina, Bhutan, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Greece, Philippines, Brazil, Malaysia, Germany, Indonesia, Finland, Russia, New Zealand and Oman.
Addressing the participants, the Minister said that Indian culture and philosophy talks about bringing happiness and joy to all and spreading this message through Indian culture can contribute a lot to the world community.  Mr.Alphons  also outlined the overall growth trajectory of the Indian Tourism Industry, especially in the year 2017 where the Foreign Tourist Arrivals crossed the `10 million mark for the first time and with the inclusion of NRI’s, the international tourist arrival stood at 15.54 million. The minister also presented various proactive steps taken by the government of India towards tourism infrastructure development, ease of travel, safety and security of the tourists and integrated global marketing campaign.  
The participants highlighted the importance of improving connectivity to promote tourism and a few countries requested for direct flights of Air India connecting the capital cities of various countries to India. They also offered to give incentives  to  Bollywood producers/directors for shooting films at beautiful locations in their countries.

As part of the interaction, a presentation on the tourism trends, India’s strong outbound travel potential and few promotional videos were shared with the invitees by Joint Secretary, Tourism Ministry, Mr. Suman Billa. Secretary tourism, Mrs. Rashmi Verma and senior officials of Ministry of Tourism including the Chairman and Managing Director of ITDC, participated in this interaction.

The Ministry wants to promote India through the message of ‘Transformational Experience’ as highlighted in its recent promotional films like ‘Yogi of the Racetrack’ which has already had record breaking 25 million views which are being translated into 9 foreign languages, and India is looking at China as an emerging market for foreign tourist arrivals and the Tourism Ministry has already set up its office in Beijing, the Minister added.  

Mr Alphons further explained that the government is working to tap the potential of Buddhist tourism. Tourist  facilities  at Sarnath are  being upgraded tremendously along with road connectivity and wayside amenities and the same are likely to be completed by year end, the Minister disclosed. 

 Minister inaugurated a workshop on development, branding and promotion of Buddhist circuit and participated in the discussions on the  development  of  Sarnath under the  Swadesh Darshan Scheme of the Ministry of Tourism. This workshop was conducted in partnership with the World Bank group. The representatives of the State governments of Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Archaeological Survey of India, Varanasi  Development Authority participated in the workshop.

The Ministry of Tourism has identified Buddhist Circuit as one of the thematic Circuits under its flagship "Swadesh Darshan” Scheme for development of Infrastructure in various states in the country with the help of State Government/Private stakeholders.

Tourism India, India's Travel Magazine, Kerala, India.

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