In May, Alphons had visited Wuhan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization conference on tourism, and assessed the market personally.
The government is taking a slew of measures to increase the number of tourists visiting India from China. The Tourism Ministry has planned roadshows, a dedicated tourist office, training Mandarin-speaking guides and hosting Chinese media in India for the purpose.
Tourism Minister K J Alphons, who is leaving for China on Tuesday, said, “Tourist arrivals from China will be our major focus area in the coming months. China sends out 144 million tourists in a year (as per their 2017 figures), while India gets only 2.5 lakh of those. This needs to change.” To turn around these figures, the ministry has set up a dedicated tourist office in Beijing, which, Alphons says, will be functional this month.
Alphons, during a recent interaction with reporters at Indian Women Press Corps, said, “India has planned roadshows in cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan and Guangzhou between August 28 and September 1,” adding that he is leaving for China on August 28 to participate in all the roadshows and hold meetings with stakeholders. “The target is to bring at least 10% of 144 million Chinese tourists in the next five years,” he added.
This is the second time within four months that the minister is visiting China, to focus on attracting tourists. In May, Alphons had visited Wuhan to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organization conference on tourism, and assessed the market personally. “I visited China under the Prime Minister’s instruction as it will be a major focus area to promote tourism,” he had said.
On the focus of the new tourism campaign, Alphons said, “There is a lot to see in India – monuments, UNESCO sites, national parks and wildlife. We will also upgrade tourism-related infrastructure in the Buddhist Circuit.”