India and China have expressed their willingness to strengthen bilateral tourism cooperation.
This was decided at a meeting between Mr. Zhu Shanzhong, Vice Chairman of China National Tourism Administration and Shri Girish Shankar, Addl. Secretary, Ministry of Tourism in New Delhi today.
It was also decided that exchange visit of students and faculty from Hotel Management Institutes between the two countries which started in September 2007 may be continued on regular basis. Both the sides were of the opinion that Faculty exchange programmes should be organized between the Human Resource Development Institutes in India and China. It was also decided that a special programme can be organized wherein the HRD experts from India and China can visit some of the Institutes in both countries and interact with the teaching faculty through conferences and seminars. Tour Operators and Travel Agents of both the countries may interact with each other in order to promote two way tourism between India and China. The possibilities for promoting more package tours in either of the countries could also be explored by the travel trade of the two countries. Both the countries would like to exchange relevant information/statistics with regard to tourist arrivals, targets and projection, infrastructure facilities, etc. Now that Hotels and Tourism sector has been opened for Foreign Direct Investment up to 100% on automatic routes, Chinese investment in tourism infrastructure in India could be one of the major areas of cooperation.
It may be recalled that a MoU was signed on December 08, 2002 between the Ministry of Tourism and National Tourism Administration of the People’s Republic of China on the implementation plan for organized group travel by Chinese citizens to India. In addition, China has accorded ‘Approved Destination Status’ to India to enable Chinese Travel Agencies to organize the outbound travel groups of Chinese citizens to India.
The Chinese delegation is on a visit to India under Ministry of External Affairs Distinguished Visitor’s Programme (DVP) for China. Under this programme MEA invites provincial leaders and influential opinion makers from China to visit India and get firsthand experience of recent developments in India.