India, Japan to cooperate on tourism
New Delhi, Feb 12 : India and Japan have decided to increase cooperation in tourism sector investment, a minister said Tuesday.
The two countries will also increase cooperation in human resource development, exchange of tour operators and information in tourism sector, Tourism Minister K. Chiranjeevi told reporters after meeting Japan's senior vice-minister of tourism Hiroshi Kajiyama here.
The minister said the bilateral aspects discussed were salient points of a memorandum of understanding likely to be signed between the two nations.
"We are expecting more inbound tourists from Japan and more outbound tourists to Japan. Connectivity and infrastructure are the two major areas we want to work on," Chiranjeevi said.
India is an important tourism market for Japan and vice-versa, he said.
"Japan was one of the top 10 tourist generating markets for India as for as inbound tourism was concerned," he said.
In the last five years, Japan had been one of the few countries sent between 140,000 to 190,000 tourists to India, a tourism ministry official said.
Citing figures, Chiranjeevi said in 2011, a total of 193,525 tourists from Japan visited India.
It was a sharp increase from 145,352 in 2008.
He said Japanese tourists were interested in places connected to Buddhism in India.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency has also extended a loan of Rs.299 crore for second phase of the Ajanta-Ellora conservation programme.
The tourism ministry will also host roadshows in Tokyo and Osaka Feb 18-20.