Yunnan Tourism looks at enhancing connectivity to India
Archana Sharma – New Delhi
In order to promote Yunnan province of China as a tourist destination in the India market, a tourism exchange and cooperation promotion programme was held between India and China, on September 22, 2014 at ITC Sheraton, New Delhi. Duan Yueqing, director general of Yunnan Provincial Tourism Development Commission led a 10 member delegation, during the invitation extended by the Indian Consulate in Guangzhou and Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI). During the meet the various stakeholders discussed the need to start direct flights between Kunming, the capital of Yunnan, and Delhi, so as to enhance outbound and inbound tourism. Presently, China Eastern Airlines offers direct connectivity from Kolkata to Kunming. Yueqing said, “We realise the potential of India as a major upcoming source market and therefore we are looking at more connectivity between the two regions.”
This was the first such high-level delegation visit to India, following up on the recent agreement between Xi Jinping, president of China, and Narendra Modi, prime minister of India. As per the agreement between both the countries, China will celebrate 2015 as ‘Visit India Year’, and India will celebrate 2016 as ‘Visit China Year’. Currently, Yunnan is witnessing approximately 22 per cent growth in domestic and foreign tourist arrivals annually. The meet focused mostly on showcasing Yunnan as an attractive destination and the tourism products that are available for the Indian consumers. Emphasising on the need for better connectivity, Guldeep Singh Sahni, president, OTOAI said, “ The India-Myanmar road project has to be extended till Yunnan, as Myanmar shares a border with Yunnan, and road connectivity will also enable us to better promote tourism between the two countries.”
Also present at the delegation meet were Mou Xue, marketing and promotion division, Yunnan Provincial Tourism Development Commission; Cheng Guangzhong, minister counsellor, The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of India.