Spain sees 35 percent growth in Indian tourists

September 23rd, 2011 - 1:04 am ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Sep 22 (IANS) Spain has recorded a 35 percent growth in tourist arrivals over 2010 in the first seven months of 2011, a Spanish official said, adding that it is a result of concerted efforts by Spain’s tourism department and its association with the Bollywood hit film ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’.

This film showcased the festivals, the cities, the countryside, the beaches and similarities between the cultures of India and Spain.

“The exchange of culture and art between Spain and India is not new. There are similarities between the cultures, festivals, art, food and also the way of life,” Joan Mesquida Ferrando, Spain’s deputy minister of tourism, told reporters during a visit to Mumbai.

Describing India as a huge market with fabulous potential, Arturo Ortiz, Director of promotional activities of Spain in India, said: “When I look at India, I see a great opportunity to offer my country Spain as a world-class, year-round destination to Indians.”

According to details provided by Spanish officials, over 70,000 Indians visited Spain in 2010. For the first half of 2011, there has been a growth of 35 percent in arrivals with over 53,000 Indian arrivals.

Corporate India too has been charmed by the destination with over 40 MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions) groups visiting this year. MICE contributed to 20 percent of the total Indian arrivals.

Also keeping in mind the success of ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’, Spain Tourism has launched a series of measures to make the destination even more exciting for producers.

Incentives like deduction of 18 percent of the cost of film or serials in taxes, Economic Interest Groups (EIG), subsidies from both the Spanish Ministry of Culture and from the Autonomous Communities will be provided to Indian filmmakers.

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