Tourism agreement to be signed during IBSA Summit next month:Official

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Kochi, Sep 21 (UNI) A tripartite agreement of the IBSA (India Brazil South Africa) nations to promote tourism will be signed during the IBSA leaders' summit in New Delhi next month, Joint Secretary, union Tourism Ministry, Leena Nandan said today.

Talking to reporters after a meeting of the 'IBSA Joint Working Group on Tourism' here, Ms Nandan said senior officials of the three countries finalised the broad guidelines for the Tripartite Agreement at today's meeting.

Stating that the three countries recognised the significant role that could be played by tourism in their socio-economic development, Ms Nandan said they agreed to promote cooperation in eco-tourism.

Also as part of the stepped-up collaboration, the exchange of hospitality industry professionals, faculty and human resource development trainers would be encouraged, she added.

Referring to the 'Workshop of IBSA Tour Operators', held today as part of the ongoing 5th Kerala Travel Mart here, Ms Nandan said the Joint Working Group recognised that the workshop provided a good opportunity to the members of the travel trade to interact.

Besides Ms Nandan, the Joint Working Group meeting was attended by Mr Carlos Rebeiro Santana, an official of the Brazilian Foreign Ministry, and Ms Zukiswa Nkhereanye, Deputy Director, Dept. of Environment and Tourism, South Africa.

Ms Nandan said that as part of India's efforts to open up non-traditional markets, a tourism office had been opened in Beijing and a massive media campaign of 'Incredible India' launched during the Olympics games in the Chinese capital.

As per the response given by the Indian Tour Operators Association (IATO), the effort had evoked a good response and tour operators of both countries were keen to explore the two markets.

UNI ARC KKS1612

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