China woos Indian tourists

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New Delhi | Published: January 12, 2016 7:56 PM

Beijing To launch China Tourism Year In New Delhi on Jan 14.

Slowing China is wooing Indians to jump start its economy through tourism and build cultural relations with its neighbouring country, by launching its version of “China Tourism Year 2016” on January 14 in New Delhi.

The move is part of a decision taken jointly in 2014 by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Chinese President Xi Ping to observe “India Tourism Year” in China during 2015, and “China Tourism Year” in India in 2016, said Li Yaying, Deputy Director General of marketing and international cooperation department at China National Tourist Administration. CNTA is the nodal body that coordinates tourism into the China, by organising events within and outside the country.

Subsequently in May 2015, the tourism authorities of both the countries had signed an agreement, which provided strong support for activities of the “Tourism Year” and other bilateral cooperation activities, she said.

The decision to hold tourism years in both the countries is aimed “at building ties of cultural exchange, promoting emotional communication between the two country peoples, reinforcing the foundation of mutual goodwill among the general public, and enriching the connotations of the developmental partnership between China and India,” she said.

In 2015, when Beijing hosted the “India Tourism Year,” mutual tourism visits are estimated to be about 9,00,000 while during the current edition of “ China Tourism Year” it could cross a million tourists visits, Li said.

On January 14, Li said China will launch its Tourism Year event at Siri Fort Auditorium in New Delhi. Chinese artists will stage a traditional Huangmei opera named The Seven Fairy Maiden. The CNTA has also designed nearly a hundred tourism promotion and exchange activities to woo Indian tourists by show casing its history.

“We hope the activities will help Indian people better understand China and create a positive atmosphere for the tourism development in both the countries,”Li said. “India has become a major emerging source of tourists to China, while China is one of the source markets of India that has the largest growth potential.”

Until June last year, Indian were ranked tenth in terms of number of tourist arrivals into China , while Chinese were ranked as the ninth biggest travellers into India, according to data from their respective tourism ministries.

The tourism exchange program comes at a time when China is facing a slowdown in its economy due to a lack of demand for its products across the world. Tourism is considered one of the lucrative boosters to economy, as a slowdown would mean the country becomes an attractive destination due to lower costs of travel. Moreover, the sector provides the country with the much needed foreign exchange earnings that could partially offset its current account deficit, hurt by slowdown of exports.

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