INDIA TOURISM ROADSHOW
(30 August 2018)
Hon'ble Tourism Minister of India, Mr. KJ Alphons,
Hon'ble Vice Governor of Hubei Province, Mr. Yang YunYan,
Director General of India Tourism, Mr. Satyajeet Rajan,
Friends for the tourism industries of India and China,
First, let me say it is a great pleasure to be back in Wuhan. As you all know, we were here in April when Wuhan City played wonderful host to the Informal Summit between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi. I must commence by thanking the people of Wuhan for the hospitality they showered on Prime Minister Modi. Since that landmark event, Wuhan City and Hubei Province hold a special place in the hearts of all Indians.
2. It is also one of the reasons we decided to hold this India Tourism Roadshow in Wuhan. We would like to see more tourists from Wuhan travel to India and conversely we would like more Indian tourists to visit Hubei Province. I extend a very warm welcome to all of you to this Roadshow. As you can see we have the Indian Tourism Minister with us here today. It is his second visit to your lovely city in the last 3 months. We are delighted to also have with us Hubei Vice Governor Mr. Yang.
3. Ladies and Gentlemen, one of the areas of consensus between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi when they met here in Wuhan is that there are inadequate people-to-people exchanges between our two countries. One way to address this problem is to have more tourists travel to each other's country. For that to happen it is for all of you, the travel agents and operators from India and China to work together and offer attractive packages to tourists in each country. Both India and China have huge populations of over 1 billion each. Our people are experiencing rising living standards and therefore more of them are travelling to foreign lands. Surely this is a potential which is untapped and which we need to unleash.
4. As far as India is concerned, I would like to suggest that you focus on 2 major tourist areas, which are already very popular. First is what we call the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. The second is the Buddhist Trail from Delhi to Varanasi and then to Bodh Gaya. I for one believe that many Chinese tourists will be interested in both these tourist attractions. Please do discuss the possibility of offering attractive packages for both these alternatives.
5. I also want to tell my Chinese friends that India has greatly liberalized its visa issuing methodology for tourists from China. Today we have the facility of an e-visa, which can be applied for online and is received in 3-4 working days. This e-visa is becoming more and more popular with Chinese travellers to India since you do not need to go in or send your passports to the Indian Embassy in Beijing or our Consulates General. Today, about 65% of all visas we issue to Chinese nationals is through this methodology.
6. Ladies and Gentlemen, I once again welcome you very warmly to this evening's India Tourism Roadshow here in Wuhan. I hope to see more of you travelling to India and of course if more people from Hubei Province visit India it means you will see me more often in your beautiful Province.