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Visit of Tourism Minister to Israel
Home › Events › Visit of Tourism Minister to Israel

Mr. Subodh Kant Sahai, Minister of Tourism, Government of India visited Israel from June 23-26, 2012 at the invitation of his Israeli counterpart, Mr. Stas Misezhnikov. The Minister has accompanied by Mr. Chandan Brahma, the Hon'ble Minister of Tourism from the State of Assam, Ms Amrita Rawat, Hon'ble Minister of Tourism from the State of Uttarakhand; and senior tourism officials from the States of Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Jammu & Kashmir. A business delegation with representatives from India's leading travel and tourism companies and the Indian Tourism Development Corporation also accompanied the Minister during the visit.

Minister Sahai and Minister Misezhnikov met on June 24 to consider the ways in which the two governments can enhance tourism between the respective countries. They also identified areas of cooperation in the travel and hospitality sectors, through capacity building, exchanges of visits of tour operators and cooperation between the private sectors. Minister Sahai met Mr. Israel Katz, Hon'ble Minister of Transportation to review civil aviation linkages between the two countries. The Ministers explored different ways to enhance connectivity between the two countries.

Senior officials from the Ministries of Tourism of India and Israel participated in the first meeting of the Joint Working Group that has been set up by the two governments to promote tourism between the two countries. The Israeli and Indian Ministers of Tourism have set a target of doubling the number of tourists to the respective countries within the next three years. The Ministers decided to establish an informal tourism forum comprising representatives from both parties, industry representative, travel agencies etc. to regularly review bilateral tourism, identify ways of enhancing it and resolving problems. India is also interested in learning from Israel how develop rural-tourism. Since India currently has 200,000 hotel rooms, and there is a shortage of additional 200,000 hotel rooms, Minister Sahai invited Israeli investors to construct hotels in India.

The Israeli Tourist and Travel Agents Association held a reception in honor of the Minister and discussed possibilities for business cooperation between Israel and India.

On June 25, Minister Sahai was the Chief Guest at the Incredible India evening hosted by the Ministry of Tourism, India at Hotel Dan Panorama in Tel Aviv. The Incredible India Evening featured presentations by the Indian delegation on the tourist destinations of India and provided an opportunity for B2B meetings between Indian business delegation and Israeli tour operators, travel agents and others. Prominent Israeli companies organising tours to India, senior representatives of Israeli Tour Operators and Travel Agents Associations, and Israeli Hotels Association attended the event. The guests also witnessed classical Indian dance performed by Israeli artists Yael Tal and Mayela.

On June 25, Minister Sahai inaugurated the statue of Rabindranath Tagore at the Hebrew University to mark the 150th birth anniversary of India's renowned Nobel Laureate poet, painter, educator and playwright. The statue is a gift from the Ministry of Culture, Government of India to the Hebrew University and the event is part of the ongoing celebration of 20 years of India-Israel diplomatic relations.

Minister Sahai also visited Critical Mass the Indian Contemporary Art exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum, one of the highlights of the 20th anniversary celebrations.


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