India Business
China promotes tourism, woos Indian visitors
Apr 3, 2007 - 12:50:23 PM

New Delhi, April 3 - In a bid to boost its tourism sector, the Chinese government is stepping up efforts to attract more Indians to its scenic locales like Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai.

China's tourism sector, which is betting big on India this China-India Tourism Friendship Year, wants one million of the seven million Indians that travel abroad to visit its shores.

'Every year almost seven million Indians travel abroad, let's aim at bringing at least one million of them to China,' Sun Yuxi, China's ambassador to India, told a gathering of Chinese tourism delegates late Monday.

He referred to the agreement to set up a tourism office in each other's country during Chinese President Hu Jintao's visit to India last year in November.

Presentations and short films on Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Shanghai, regarded by the Chinese as the 'The Golden Yangtze River Delta', were shown with lip-smacking Chinese delicacies also on offer.

According to the Chinese delegates, the opening up of the tourism sector between the countries, regarded as the two emerging Asian giants, will not only fuel tourism but also give a tremendous impetus to bilateral trade.

Sino-Indian bilateral trade is likely to touch $50 billion by 2010, according to an estimate by industry body Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry -.

The Indian government, on its part, has also taken a number of initiatives to promote and sustain the growth of tourism between the two countries.

'With the fast development of China's economy, the tourism industry in China has experienced a full-throttle and healthy development period,' said Yao Shenghou, deputy director, Provincial Tourism Bureau.

China became the world's fourth largest tourist destination in 2004, according to a report.

Chinese tourists spend more than $21.8 billion in travelling abroad, similar to that of the Japanese, say experts.

India's tourism sector is picking up too. According to the ministry of tourism and culture, the size of the domestic tourism industry is $390 million and growing at a rate of 12 percent. It would be 15 percent within the next five years.

For India's several small and medium enterprises, China has become the most preferred destination. Also, over 6,000 Indian students are currently pursuing higher degrees in the universities there.

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