For a greater tourist ex­change

The re­cep­tion of the third meet­ing of the In­dia-Ja­pan Tourism Coun­cil, held in Delhi re­cently, dis­cussed chal­lenges and mea­sures to ex­pand bi­lat­eral tourism ex­change be­tween the coun­tries.

TravTalk - India - - NTO - Anupriya Bish­noi

The re­cep­tion of third meet­ing of the In­di­aJa­pan Tourism Coun­cil, which con­cluded re­cently in the cap­i­tal, was at­tended by sev­eral se­nior of­fi­cials from the In­dian and Ja­panese tourism in­dus­try. Speak­ing on the oc­ca­sion, Su­man

Billa, Joint Sec­re­tary, Min­istry of Tourism, says, “A lot of eco­nomic ac­tiv­i­ties tran­spire be­tween In­dia and Ja­pan but un­for­tu­nately that mo­men­tum has not been trans­lated into the tourism space. If you look at the num­bers, there are about three and a half lakh peo­ple trav­el­ling be­tween In­dia and Ja­pan. In the last coun­cil meet­ing in Tokyo, we thought we must dou­ble the num­ber in three years’ time, that is, take it up to seven lakhs. In this coun­cil meet­ing, we have worked fur­ther on this agenda. In­dia and Ja­pan have a shared ac­tion plan — ‘ Match­ing Ac­tion Plan’— which means, we would do a few ac­tiv­i­ties to pro­mote the Ja­panese vis­it­ing In­dia and sim­i­larly the Ja­panese Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion un­der­tak­ing ac­tiv­i­ties to pro­mote In­di­ans vis­it­ing Ja­pan.” Talk­ing about ways to up­grade the num­ber, Billa says, “We must en­hance the level of ac­tiv­i­ties that we do like Fam work­ing on new cam­paigns, etc to get the num­bers grow­ing. We also had an avi­a­tion round-ta­ble, in which we got all the air­lines to­gether, to sit down and talk about how we can en­hance the con­nec­tiv­ity be­tween both the coun­tries. For­tu­nately, ANA plans di­rect daily on Tokyo-Chen­nai route from Oc­to­ber.”

Atoshi Seino, Pres­i­dent, Ja­pan Na­tional Tourism Or­gan­i­sa­tion, con­sid­ers In­dia as a valu­able mar­ket but also be­lieves that the num­ber of tourist ar­rivals from In­dia to Ja­pan is not enough. He says, “Cur­rently, the num­ber of trav­ellers from In­dia to Ja­pan con­sti­tutes less than 1 per cent of the en­tire in­ter­na­tional travel we get in Ja­pan. Con­sid­er­ing In­dia is such a huge coun­try with 1.3 bil­lion peo­ple, I think it’s not enough. in Delhi now is to get a fresh per­spec­tive for the kind of de­mand and travel needs that’s into what we are of­fer­ing back in Ja­pan.” Re­cently, a new tax has been im­ple­mented by Ja­pan’s Par­lia­ment where all trav­ellers leav­ing Ja­pan will have to pay 1,000-yen ‘say­onara tax’. Seino says, “The tax costs around 1,000-yen which is less than $10. It is a tax that a trav­eller must pay be­fore leav­ing Ja­pan. This tax rev­enue will be utilised, mak­ing im­mi­gra­tion smoother or get­ting new tech­nol­ogy for fa­cial recog­ni­tion. We can also use it to im­prove the lan­guage ca­pa­bil­ity on the ground so that for­eign tourists can have a seam­less ex­pe­ri­ence in Ja­pan.”

Yo­gen­dra Tri­pathi, Sec­re­tary, MOT, thanked rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Gov­ern­ment of Ja­pan and other stake­hold­ers for their par­tic­i­pa­tion in the meet­ing.

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