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India and the UAE will sign an MoU aiming to double the two-way flow of tourists between both the countries by 2015. There has been a reasonable rise in the number of people booking flights to India from the Gulf and Middle East.

In a bid to increase the figure of tourists taking flights to India, the country is going to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the UAE. The MoU will aim to double the two-way flow of tourists between both the countries.

A road show was also organised to promote Indian tourism in the Middle East region. The road show started from the Atlantis Hotel and saw representatives from the travel trade, hotels, and media as well as diplomats and government officials.

The road show also saw representation from top Indian states like Rajasthan, Delhi, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand. These states showcased Indian holiday attractions at the road show. Various airlines also participated in the road show.

India’s Minister of Tourism Subodh Kant Sahai was quoted in news reports as saying that details and modalities of the proposed MoU are being worked out. An India-UAE Tourism Promotion Forum, with representation from hotels and tour operators, will be created to increase the inbound and outbound tourist flow from both the countries.

“India receives around six million tourists per year and our target is to double the figure by 2015. We are trying to co-operate with the tourism departments of Gulf countries to increase the flow of tourists both ways,” Mr Sahai informed.

There has been a significant surge in the number of people who look for cheap flights to India from the Gulf and Middle East, especially from countries like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Yemen and Turkey.

Almost 6.29 million tourists took flights to India in 2011, which is an 8.9 per cent growth over 5.78 million in 2010. India’s tourism ministry is hoping to enhance the country’s share in international tourist arrivals from 0.6 per cent to 1 per cent by 2016.

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