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Speech at the opening of Incredible India Tourism Road Show in Muscat

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Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Good Evening

I am delighted to join you at the opening of Incredible India Tourism Road Show in Muscat, which has been jointly organized by the Embassy and India Tourism Office in Dubai. I extend a warm welcome and thank you all for your presence. I also want to thank the organisers of this Show for their hard work.

As you are aware, Oman is a maritime neighbor of India and the historical relations between the two countries are traced back to 5000 years. This year, we have been celebrating the 60th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. India- Oman relations are broad-based and multi-faceted, with strategic dimensions.

An important dimension of this relationship has been people-to- people relations, forged through trade and tourism. Tourism exchanges between India and Oman play an important role in enhancing mutual understanding of each others culture, history, customs and traditions. They also open up opportunities for more business, trade, investment as well as educational and cultural exchanges. The Embassy, therefore, accords a high priority to promoting tourism between India and Oman.

It appears that India is emerging as an attractive destination for people of Oman for tourism, including medical tourism. The Embassy had issued over 82,000 visas in 2014, which amounted to an increase of 39% over 59,000 Visas issued during 2013. There has been, during the first 9 months of 2015, an increase of 17% in the number of visas issued by the Embassy over the same period in 2014 and if the present trend continues, during the rest of the year, we may reach close to 100,000 visas this year. It may be noted that 97% of visas issued by the Embassy are either for tourism or medical purposes.

India has emerged as a favourite destination for health and wellness tourism for people of Oman. In order to facilitate medical tourism to India, a separate window is being opened at the Indian Visa Centre in Muscat run by M/ s. BLS. It will allow us to expeditiously process visa applications for visits to India for medical treatment.

The purpose of this Road Show is to highlight the various opportunities available for tourism in India and to bring together travel and tour operators from India and Oman with a view to encourage them to work together for enhancing tourism exchanges between the two countries. I am quite encouraged by the presence of representatives of a large number of Indian and Omani travel and tourism companies and the Embassy will continue to work with India Tourism in future to encourage more tourism to India. I would like to assure you that Embassy will continue to take steps to address various issues related to travel to India, including visa related Issues.

I would like to wish this Incredible India Tourism Road Show a big success and hope that various presentations and interactions planned for this evening will result in more travel and tourism from Oman to India. Before I conclude, I would like to thank India Tourism, Dubai for joining hands with the Embassy in organizing this Road Show and the support we always receive for promoting tourism from Oman to India.


   

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