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Press Release: India at China International Travel Mart(CITM), Kunming 13-15 November 2015

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India at China International Travel Mart(CITM), Kunming  

13-15 November 2015

India at the invitation of China is participating as Guest Country of Honour at the China International Travel Mart in Kunming from 13-15 November 2015. The CITM is one of the largest travel and tourism events in the Asia-Pacific. 

India's participation as Guest Country of Honour is one of the major initiatives under the Visit India Year in China being observed this year. It will be recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinpinghad agreed to celebrate Visit India Year in China in 2015 and Visit China Year in India in 2016. 

Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Hon'ble Minister for Tourism and Culture from the Govt. of India heads the Indian delegation comprising officials of the Ministry of Tourism, five State Governments and Industry partners.

The India Pavilion stand at the CITM provides a strong platform for the Indian tourism industry stakeholders, to present their products and services to the travel trade worldwide. 20 co-exhibitors/partners comprising State Tourism departments, tour operators, airlines and other stakeholders, will be present at the India Pavilion, to showcase their diverse tourism products and services. The participating States from India are Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Nagaland, and Haryana. During the event, Hon'bleMinister and the delegation will meet leading global tourism industry captains and executives.

?A major highlight of India's participation is the India-China Tourism Forum. India and China will co-host the China International Travel Forum and India-China Tourism Forum on 13 November at CITM. The Forum will be addressed by the Hon’ble Minister for Tourism & Culture, Dr. Mahesh Sharma and Mr. Li Jinzao, Chairman, China National Tourism Administration. 

India will be organizing B2B sessions, Know India Seminars, demonstrations of Indian arts and crafts at CITM.

India will also be promoting India Tourism in Kunming through outdoor promotional activities at Nanya Dicheng, a prominent shopping square in centre of Kunming. These will include Yoga demonstrations in association with the Yunnan Minzu University Yoga College, musical concert from Nagaland, Cheriyal mask painting artisans from Telangana, Bidri work from Karnataka,  Indian Street Food Festival, Indian arts and crafts exhibition-cum-sale.

As part of the drive to enable travel to India, the Electronic Travel Authorization (E-Visa) for Chinese travelling to India was announced during Prime Minister’s visit to China in May 2015 and has already been implemented since July. The initiative has received a enthusiastic response in the last 4 months. 

With a view to promote connectivity, stakeholders are also looking at how more airline routes can be added. Shandong Airlines has launched a new connection on 11th November directly linking Kunming with New Delhi four times a week. The flight also extends to Qingdao and Jinan too within China. 

Indian Tourism Outlook

The Indian tourism outlook is certainly very promising with an upswing in the growth of Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in India in the recent years.  In 2014, India received 7.68 million FTAs as compared to 6.97 million in 2013 with a growth rate of 10.2%.  

In 2014, the tourist arrivals in India from mainland China was over 180,000 with a 3.6% growth over the previous year (2013).

The target is to achieve 1% of international tourist arrivals out of total global tourist arrivals through a multi-pronged approach, including proactive marketing strategies in partnership with the tourism stakeholders.

The Government of India recognizes the contribution of tourism towards economic growth and stands committed to make it easy for the travelers to visit India. The recent initiative taken by the Government of India to introduce Electronic TouristVisa (eTV) is a step in this direction and has further boosted tourist arrivals. 

The facility of eTV is at present available for nationals of 113 countries, which is proposed to be expanded to a total of 150 countries. China is amongst the beneficiaries of this policy and Prime Minister Modi had announced it during his visit in May 2015. 

India has a rich and diverse natural, cultural, and religious heritage which provides a unique opportunity for tourism.  The architecture of India’s temples, palaces, forts, the grandeur of its sculptures, and the beauty of its paintings, all offer an unparalleled experience. The desert circuit in Rajasthan, snow-bound Himalayas, back waters of Kerala, and the beaches of Goa are very popular with international tourists. India has 32 World Heritage Sites which include historic monuments and natural wonders. 

To improve infrastructural facilities in the country, the Ministry of Tourism has launched new schemes for the integrated development of theme based circuits in the country. As the birthplace of Buddhism, India has a treasure trove of heritage Buddhist sites that will be of great interest and curiosity for Chinese travelers.

The Ministry of Tourism has also taken the initiative of identifying, diversifying, developing and promoting nascent/upcoming niche tourism products. The aim is to promote India as a year round destination, to attract tourists with specific interests and to ensure repeat visits. Such niche products that are being developed and promoted include Rural Tourism, Wellness, Medical, Adventure, Golf, MICE Tourism, etc. 

Adventure Tourism opportunities in India are innumerable with a wide scope of activities. 73% of the Himalayas are in India and to highlight the various adventure related activities feasible in the region, the Ministry of Tourism had launched the ‘777 Days of Incredible Indian Himalayas’ campaign which also include the promotion of other adventure tourism products such as wildlife, indigenous culture, heritage and natural sites.  

FAQs: India’s e-Tourist Visa (eTV)

• India’s e-Tourist Visa facility for Chinese residents came into effect in July 2015 enabling many more travelers from China to visit India without having to encounter cumbersome processes of face-to-face application procedure.

• The new visa facility allows applicants from China to apply online at least 4 days in advance prior to the date of arrival in India, with a window of 30 days. 

• eTV is valid for entry through India’s airports such as Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Cochin, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai, Trivandrum, Gaya, Jaipur, Lucknow, Trichy and Varanasi. 

• The e-Tourist Visa fee is US$ 60 per tourist excluding interchange charge for credit/debit cards. 

• Applicants should carry a copy of their eTV along with him/her at the time of travel.

• Biometric details of the applicant will be mandatorily captured at Immigration on arrival in India.

• The validity of the e-TV will be 30 days from the date of arrival in India.

• This facility is in addition to the existing visa services.

• e-Tourist Visa (eTV) is allowed for a maximum of two visits in one calendar year.