Tourism Ministry to organise road shows in Russia

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New Delhi, Feb 14 (UNI) Lending an aggressive edge to its campaign to woo tourists from abroad, India will launch a series of road shows in Russia and other countries in the adjoining area by August-September, Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni said today.

Ms Soni said her ministry had chalked out a plan to have road shows in Russia and its neighbouring countries to promote India as a tourist destination.

''The Tourism Ministry will also make tourism related films and CDs and translate brochures and literature in Russian language to attract tourists from that country,'' the minister said.

This was conveyed by Ms Soni during her meeting with Mr. V.

Strzhalkovskiy, Head of the Federal Agency for Tourism of the Russian Federation who called on the minister in her office here.

During their 40-minute meeting, she also apprised the visiting dignitary of the long-term visa (five years) with multiple entries, and the visa on arrival scheme that was being worked out.

She also thanked the Russian leader for his country's support to India during the election of UNWTO Executive Council where India was elected as its chairman.

Both the leaders agreed that India and Russia had unlimited potential in tourism sector and there was a need to increase tourist traffic both ways.

For a better understanding of India, she said her ministry would invite travel writers, mediapersons and tour operators from Russia to India for short duration stay so that they could write about the country, its rich heritage and places of tourist interest.

She also exchanged views on visa procedure, hotel accommodation and budget hotels. She said her ministry was hopeful of some concessions in the coming Union Budget that would give a boost to budget hotels in the country.

Mr Strzhalkovskiy, recalling the traditional friendship between the two countries, said India and Russia had huge tourist potential and exchange of travel writers and tour operators would increase the flow of bilateral tourist traffic.

Exchanging views on visa procedure for tourists, he said Russia was making all efforts to make it tourist-friendly.

Talking about India's great potential in the tourism sector, he referred to many interesting places such as Goa, Agra, Rajasthan, backwaters of Kerala and Jammu and Kashmir and caled for better air connectivity for the Russian tourists, particularly in the Mumbai-Goa sector.

He also invited India to participate in tourism exhibitions in Russia, saying it would contribute significantly in promotion of tourism between the two countries.

UNI/SKS MSJ RN1852

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