Ambika Soni to open India Tourism Office in Beijing

April 3rd, 2008 - 10:55 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, April 3 (IANS) Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni will inaugurate the India Tourism Office in Beijing during her visit to China starting April 6. During her three-day trip, Soni will hold discussions with the chairman of the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), Shao Qiwei, and attend cultural and food festivals.

Besides opening the tourism office April 7, Soni will inaugurate a photo exhibition “My Discovery of India” by Rita Zhao, a Chinese photographer who visited India during the Friendship Through Tourism Year, according to an Indian embassy release issued from Beijing.

Rita was one of the beneficiaries of the bilateral cooperation between the two countries that was intensified when Chinese President Hu Jintao visited India in November 2006.

During that visit, both sides decided to commemorate 2007 as the Friendship Through Tourism Year. The year was launched in New Delhi Feb 14, 2007 and culminated Jan 30, 2008 at Kunming.

To showcase India’s rich heritage, a cultural programme ‘Incredible India’ will also be organised. Choreographed by India’s leading Bharatnatyam dancer Leela Samson, about 71 dancers will be part of the cultural show, which will be presented in Shanghai.

Ten master chefs especially flown from India will prepare food at the week-long Indian Food Festival April 8-14 in Beijing. During the same period, food festival will also be organised in Shanghai where chefs will prepare a range of Indian culinary delights.

The two countries, which account for almost 40 percent of the world’s population, havce emerged as major sources of outbound tourists. It is estimated that about eight million Indians and 40 million Chinese travelled abroad in 2007.

In 2007, over half a million visitors were exchanged between India and China. These included over 462,450 visitors from India to China and about 68,000 Chinese visitors to India, the statement said.

Air connectivity has doubled over the last year between India and China and there are 27 weekly connections between the two countries.

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