India and Israel will enhance tourism exchanges between the two countries in the coming years. This was decided at a meeting between Stas Misezhnikov, Tourism Minister, Israel and Subodh Kant Sahai, Minister for Tourism, India, recently. The ministers discussed various steps to be taken to improve people to people exchanges between the two countries. The two countries have decided to exchange expertise in areas like destination management, conservation of monuments, as well as manpower development.
Both the countries have decided to consider exchanging experience in destination management and promotion. Manpower development will be another area of cooperation between India and Israel. Exchange programmes for teachers, students, and exchange of information on teaching modules will be considered by the two countries.
Tour operators and travel agents of both the countries will interact with each other in order to promote two-way tourism between India and Israel. The possibilities for promoting package tours in either of the countries will also be explored by the travel trade of two countries.
Later, talking to the leaders of the travel trade industry in India, the Israeli minister said that despite the distance between the two countries, both India and Israel share lot of good relations and similarities in terms of rich civilization, democratic system of governance, etc. He said that the visitations between the two countries had doubled between 2008 and 2010 and there is vast scope for growth in future. “Israel is replete with history and old and modernity is blended well in modern Israel,” he said.
In order to improve awareness about Israel and its tourism offerings, the Minister said that the tourism department will try to organise familiarization trips for the trade and media from India in future. Misezhnikov, who is leading a delegation of the tourism and travel industry, will hold talks with Ministry of Civil Aviation in India to chalk out measures to improve connectivity between the two countries.
Speaking on the occasion, Alon Ushpiz, Israel's Ambassador to India said that both India and Israel share the same spirit of hospitality where a guest is treated as god. “Bilateral relations between the two countries have grown exponentially in the last 20 years after diplomatic relations were established in 1992,” he said.
Subhash Goel, Chairman, Stic Group stressed upon the need to improve people to people relationship between the two countries. Sharing his experiences from his visit to Israel, Goel said that there is a lot to see in Israel, especially places around the Dead Sea.
Misezhnikov is the first Israeli Tourism Minister to visit India after full diplomatic relations were resumed between the two countries.