INDIA TOURISM ROADSHOW
(28 August 2018)
Hon'ble Tourism Minister of India, Mr. KJ Alphons,
Hon'ble Vice President of the International Mountain Tourism Alliance Mr. Shao Qiwei,
Director General of India Tourism, Mr. Satyajeet Rajan,
Friends from tour agencies and companies of China and India,
First, let me extend a very warm welcome to all of you for being with us today for this India Tourism Roadshow. We are delighted that India's Tourism Minister is with us today. It signals the importance that India places on expanding tourism between our countries. We are particularly pleased that His Excellency Mr. Shao Qiwei has changed his schedule to be with us today. We all remember Mr. Shao as a former head of tourism in China during which period he spent a lot of his energy in expanding tourism between India and China. Sir, thank you for being with us this evening.
2. Ladies and Gentlemen, when President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi met at their Informal Summit at Wuhan this April, they agreed that our two countries must increase people-to-people exchanges. Today's Roadshow is a direct outcome of their decision. Tourism is the largest and best method to enhance interaction amongst people. India and China have one resource which is not available to other nations in the world. That is their large populations of well over 1 billion citizens in each country. However, the scale of tourism between us is miniscule compared to our populations. Which in turn means that the potential for increase is great.
3. Therefore, I would like to request each of the tour companies present here today to make an effort to tie up with each other, choose two or three tour packages which will interest the tourists from the other country, publicize these packages and then send more tourists in each other's direction. From an Indian standpoint, perhaps we should advertize and popularize the Golden Triangle area of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. A second option is the Buddhist trail in India from Delhi to Varanasi to Bodh Gaya. These are mere suggestions. The acutal details are best left to all of you who are experts in this field.
4. A word to my friends from the Indian tourism industry. While you are in China please do try to understand if there are any special requirements of Chinese tourists. Do they like to travel in groups? Do they prefer to have Chinese food while traveling to other countries? It is only when we in India pay attention to such specifics that we shall be able to enhance Chinese tourist numbers to India.
5. Similarly, I would like to inform my friends from China that India has greatly liberalized its visa norms. We now have an electronic visa which can be obtained online, while sitting in your office or at home, in just 3 to 4 days. Please do utilize this option as thousands of others are doing.
6. Let me end by once again welcoming all of you to today's Roadshow.