New Delhi: In a bid to attract more Chinese tourists, India is set to launch an aggressive campaign in the neighbouring country to showcase its historical and cultural sites.
An Indian tourism office will come up in Beijing in April accompanied by roadshows and distribution of literature in Chinese language.
The tourism office will be inaugurated by Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni in the first week of April.
“It was long overdue and finally it is going to happen,” a senior official in the Tourism Ministry told PTI about the first tourism office being opened in China by India.
The mandate of the office will be to tap the Chinese tourists with an aim of increasing their influx here.
Last year, about 80,000 Chinese visited India for tourism and the government here feels there is potential for raising this number.
Tourist arrivals to India from China saw a growth of 38% during 2006 and there is tremendous potential for further increase in tourists traffic from there, the official said.
“The Indian tourism ministry will organise roadshows in various cities of China to showcase our historical and cultural sites with an aim of attracting the Chinese tourists,” the official said.
To reach out to maximum number of Chinese, tourism-related literature is being translated into their own language. Some of Indian tourist guides are also being trained in Chinese language, the official said, adding the number of the guides would be increased gradually.
In addition to the cultural and historic sites in India, the Chinese travellers are also interested in golf and shopping here and these aspects will also be highlighted during the campaign.
Information about Buddhists sites of India, already popular with the Chinese visitors, will also be packaged in a better way.
China recently opened its tourism office here in the capital.
There has also been an increase in the number of Indian tourists visiting China with 405,091 Indians having visited the country in 2006 as compared to 309,411 in 2004.
Foreign tourist arrivals to India has been showing very encouraging trends over the last few years.
The year 2006 saw an increase in tourist arrivals from all major regions including US (14%), UK (13%), Western Europe (16%), South East Asia (16.7%), West Asia (9.6%) and Australia (14.7%).
Markets like South America, Russia and CIS countries, Spain, Korea, Scandinavia and China are emerging as major source due to their growing economies as and interest in travelling overseas. Tourist arrivals from these countries have been increasing over the years.
Beijing office will be India’s 14th tourism office abroad. The other offices are in New York, Los Angels, Toronto, Johannesburg, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Milan, Tokyo, Dubai, Singapore and Sydney.