India today said it will organise a series of special events across China this year as part of ‘Visit India Year’ programme to introduce its picturesque spots to Chinese tourists, who form a major chunk of global travellers.
There is a deep interest about India in China, but the number of Chinese visiting the country is minuscule, said India’s Ambassador to China Ashok K Kantha.
And the number of Indians travelling to China is also not up to the potential, Kantha told Communist Party’s official organ People’s Daily in an interview.
“Recognising this, we will be launching the ‘Visit India Year’ in China and the embassy of India in China is planning to hold a series of activities, not only in Beijing but also in different parts of China, to introduce India to our Chinese friends and promote tourism from China to India,” he said.
According to the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the volume of international trips by Chinese travellers has grown from 10 million in 2000 to 83 million in 2012. Their expenditure abroad has also climbed rapidly, increasing by 40 per cent from 2011 to 2012.
While 2015 will be the ‘Visit India Year’ in China, next year will be ‘Visit China Year’ as part of an understanding between the two countries reached during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India last year.
India has been making dedicated efforts to attract Chinese tourists as their numbers reached close to 100 million last year and raked up a revenue of USD 102 billion. Officials say visa policy has been liberalised to facilitate more visits. Currently over five lakh Indians, mostly businessmen, visit China while nearly one lakh Chinese travel to India.
China has been promoting tourists from the country to visit Sri Lanka and the Maldives. In 2013, over 30 per cent of the million tourists in Maldives were stated to be Chinese. Kantha, however, said India-China ties progressed in all spheres last year.
“When I look back at the year that has just gone by, I do feel a sense of satisfaction. I am also encouraged by these accomplishments to plan ahead for an even more successful year in 2015. We expect Prime Minister Modi to visit China this year,” he said.
He said 2014 was the ‘Year of Friendly Exchanges’ during which relationships enriched by a series of high-level visits which included Vice President Hamid Ansari’s trip to China followed by Xi’s India visit.
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Article: Business Standard
- China and India Aims to Boost Two-Way Tourism @ CRI News (2015-02)