Tourism minister visits India to boost tourism

Thousands of Israelis visit India every year and vice versa; ministers visited Jewish, Christian communities, on week-long visit.

Indian Jews 521 (photo credit: COURTESY TOVA AHARON-KASTIEL)
Indian Jews 521
Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov set out Sunday for a round of meetings with ministers and leading industry officials in India’s tourism industry.
This is the first time since 1993 that an Israeli tourism minister has visited India.
During the visit, the minister will meet with Indian Tourism Minister Subdoh Kant Sahai, in Delhi, to discuss tourism traffic between Israel and India, tourism opportunities and the increase in tourism from India over the last few years.
Meseznikov is expected to meet with the Indian Aviation Minister and the CEO of Air India to discuss the aviation rights of the Indian company to Israel. Air India is the only Indian airline that has the right to fly to Israel but has yet to open up a route.
The minister was accompanied by director-general of the Ministry of Tourism Noaz Bar- Nir, officials from the ministry’s Marketing Administration, and representatives from the tourism industry, including Arkia CEO Gadi Teffer, El-Al Asia Manager Yair Barbie and Dan Hotels CEO Ami Federmann.
Throughout the week-long visit, Meseznikov will meet with members of the Jewish community in Delhi and Mumbai, including a visit to the Chabad House. He will also meet with members of the Christian community and take part in a series of interviews with print media and various Indian television stations.
From the beginning of 2011 through July, over 22,000 tourists from India entered Israel. The Ministry of Tourism has placed India as a leading target in Asia.
“India is a new and developing market that has increasingly begun to visit Israel, and the massive potential of this market has yet to be realized,” Meseznikov said.