Visit of Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Tourism & Culture (Independent Charge) to Kunming, China
Dr. Mahesh Sharma, Minister of State for Tourism and Culture (Independent Charge), visited Kunming, Yunnan on 13-14 November wherehe led India's participation as Guest Country of Honour at the China International Travel Mart (CITM). The CITM is one of the largest travel and tourism events in the Asia-Pacific.
A large Indian contingent comprising officials of the Ministry of Tourism, the Embassy of India in Beijing and Consulate in Guangzhou, the State Governments of Karnataka, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh,Nagaland, and Haryana, and industry representatives are attending the CITM.Haryana's representation is led by state Tourism Minister, Mr. Ram Bilas Sharma.
This year is being celebrated as the Visit India Year in China under which a series of initiatives and activities have been held. In May, while visiting China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a significant policy initiative to extend the electronic visa on arrival facility to China to ease travel to India. This facility is available to Chinese citizens since July this year.
At the CITM, Hon'ble Minister together with China's Tourism Minister, Mr. Li Jinzao and Yunnan Provincial Party Secretary, Mr. Li Jiheng inaugurated the Indian National Pavilion on the opening day of 13th November in the presence of media persons and other participants. Before that, he also delivered a speech at the opening ceremony of the CITM which was also attended by about twenty Ministerial dignitaries from other countries.
Later that day, Hon'ble Minister addressed the India-ChinaTourism Forum and China International Tourism Symposium jointly organized by the Ministry of Tourism of India and China National Tourism Administration. The Forum brought together over 300 industry and government stakeholders, as wellas media and international organizations. Chinese Tourism Minister Li Jinzao,Yunnan Governor Chen Hao, PATA Chairman Kevin Murphy, and UN World TourismOrganization Executive Director Zhu Shanzhong also addressed the plenarysession. Hon'ble Minister in his address highlighted India's rich and diverse natural, cultural, and religious heritage which provides unique tourism opportunities. He drew attention to tourism's catalytic role in developing mutual understanding and enhancing mutual trust through expanded people-to-people contacts and in promoting economic development.
Coinciding with India's participation at CITM, an outdoor tourism promotion event called India Fair is also being held at a major city square in Kunming with performances by a musical group from Nagaland, Voices of Hope, Manipuri dance troupe, artisans from Karnataka and Telangana, and yoga demonstrations. An arts and crafts exhibition-cum-sale and Street Food Festival are the other highlights of the India Fair that will run for the duration of CITM. India-specific B2B sessions,Know India Seminars, demonstrations of Indian arts and crafts are being organized at CITM to make Indian participation.
14 November 2015