India and Australian State of Victoria here today held a bilateral meeting to discuss ways to further strengthen cultural and tourism relations between the two sides.
During the 40-minute meeting, the Indian side was led by Tourism Minister Shripad Naik while Minster for Arts, Women’s Affairs and Consumer Affairs for Victoria Heidi Victoria led the visiting delegation.
Both sides agreed to constitute a Joint Forum of tour operators to encourage and increase in people-to-people contact. They also agreed to expedite the signing of MoU between the two sides to further strengthen cooperation in the tourism sector, according to a release.
Naik noted with satisfaction that since the introduction of Dreamliner flight from India to Australia, both connectivity and tourists flow has increased between the two countries.
He invited investors from Victoria to India in the field of hotel industry, tourism and infrastructural development. He conveyed to the visiting delegation that India allows 100 percent FDI in hotel on automated basis.
Victoria offered collaboration between the two countries in museum, galleries and teaching institutions.
It was agreed during the meeting that both sides exchange details of training facilities available in the field of tourism, hotel management, catering technology etc.
Australia is one of top 10 tourist generating markets for India as far as inbound tourism is concerned.
There were 14,907 Australian tourists who came to India in 2009, while their number rose to 2,19,867 in 2013.
In 2009, there were 12,488 Indians who travelled to Australia and their number increased to 1,59,279 in 2013.
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