India, China to sign pact to enhance bilateral ties in tourism

India may also announce e-visa facility to the Chinese tourists during the visit

New Delhi: India and China will sign a fresh agreement on enhancing bilateral cooperation in the tourism sector during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's three-day visit to that country starting on Thursday.

The issue was discussed at the Union Cabinet meeting Wednesday during which it approved the proposal to do so. The agreement will help both countries in creating an institutional mechanism for enhancing cooperation in the tourism sector, according to an official release.

The main objectives of the agreement is to expand bilateral cooperation in the tourism sector, exchange information and data related to tourism and to encourage cooperation between tourism stakeholders including hotels and tour operators, among others.

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The agreement will also aim to establish exchange programmes for cooperation in human resource development and attract investment in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

Besides, participation in travel fairs and exhibitions in each other's country and promotion of safe, honourable and sustainable tourism are to be covered under the agreement with China.

"Cooperation with China in tourism in what manner would be, will be decided by the Prime Minister," the source said. Sources also said India may also announce e-visa facility to the Chinese tourists during the visit.

The Tourism Ministry has already sent a note to the government, recommending it to extend the e-visa facility to Chinese tourists, but a final call on the issue lies with the Prime Minister and the Ministries of Home and External Affairs, they said.

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"The Ministry of Tourism has already sent a recommendatory to the government on the issue (allowing e-visa to Chinese tourists). We have represented to the government as to how much China means to us and vice versa in terms of tourism.

However, Prime Minister has the prerogative to take a decision," the source said.

( Source : PTI )
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