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Indonesia and India attempt to boost their tourism relations

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India and Indonesia have a long history of cultural exchange and trade, but the two-millennia-long relationship has not necessarily translated into an intimate exchange of inbound tourists. With this fact in mind, the two countries have agreed to explore together the huge potential for tourism between India and Indonesia.

Indian Deputy Ambassador to Indonesia Manish said just a small fraction of Indonesian travelers visited India last year, and Ni Wayan Giri Adnyani, the deputy secretary for overseas tourism development at the Tourism Ministry, acknowledged Manish’€™s assertion.

With this reality, the two countries have come together to boost relations. India and Indonesia plan to simplify visa procedures, boost marketing activities and develop direct flights connecting the two countries.

Manish said that there was no specific target but the embassy would focus on attracting more Indonesian tourists, while Ni Wayan said that her ministry aimed to see a 30 percent increase in Indian travelers visiting Indonesia this year.

There were around 8 million foreign tourist arrivals in India last year, and Indonesian tourists made up a small fragment of them, with only around 23,000 arrivals, Manish said.

‘€œWe see Indian culture in every corner of Indonesia. But not many Indonesians travel to India,’€ Manish said during the promotional event Incredible India held in Jakarta recently.

India has introduced an online visa system so that interested visitors did not need to travel to Indian consulates to acquire one. In the case of Indonesia, travelers interested in visiting India have to go to Jakarta, Medan and Bali to get their visas.

India also recently introduced a 24-hour helpline to guide tourists and help in cases of emergency. The service is available in 12 languages.

Indonesia ‘€” meanwhile ‘€” scrapped the tourist visa for 90 countries last year, including for India, and Ni Wayan said that this would help attract more Indian tourists.

She said that around 270,000 Indian tourists visited Indonesia last year out of a total figure of 9 million foreign arrivals. The figure is a relatively small one considering the fact that Indians made 18 million overseas trips during 2015.

This year, she added, her ministry aimed to attract 350,000 tourists from the South Asian country.

‘€œWe have actively and aggressively conducted exhibitions to attract more tourists from India, not only from New Delhi and Mumbai, but also from other cities like Hyderabad, Calcutta and Chennai,’€ she said.

She said that a larger budget had been set aside for marketing efforts in India. However, she did not have the details at hand.

Ni Wayan also advocated reactivating bilateral working meetings between her ministry and its Indian counterpart in order to work more closely on promoting tourism between India and Indonesia.

Credits:www.thejakartapost.com

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    Indians can take the Delhi Singapore Surabaya route into Indonesia. Lovely city Surabaya.

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All You Need To Know About India’s Strategic Chabahar Port

The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border.

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Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is of great international significance in terms of trade, especially for India. Wikimedia Commons

By Ruchika Verma

  • The Chabahar Port is of great strategic importance for India
  • It is in Iran and is being built and operated by India
  • This port will increase India’s trade with Central Asia and Europe

The Chabahar Port is a seaport in Chabahar, which is on the Gulf of Oman, near Iran-Pakistan border. Chabahar is the trans-shipment and logistics hub for the Makran Coast and Baluchistan province of Iran.

Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port is built and operated by India. Wikimedia Commons

The tension between India and Pakistan is nothing new. There are several instances where both the countries have tried to obstruct each other’s political or economic agendas. This obstruction, along with other strategic reasons, resulted in the India and Iran’s deal on the Chabahar Port, which is crucial because of several reasons.

Here are few things about it you may not have known before :

  • Under the Trilateral Transit and Transport Agreement of 2016, the Chabahar port is the gateway to the Transport Corridor between India, Iran and Afghanistan, which allows multi-modal goods’ and passengers’ transport.

Also Read: India and Iran sign agreement to develop Chabahar Port

  • The agreement also states that India will develop and operate two berths in the first phase of the port. The contract is for 10 years and extendable. This time period excludes the first two years as they will be used for construction.
Chabahar Port will make India's trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
Chabahar Port will make India’s trade with Afghanistan easier. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Chabahar Port’s first phase, which was developed by India, and inaugurated by Iran on 4th December 2017, is of great strategic importance as it makes it easier for India to conduct trade with Central Asia and Europe.
  • Iran’s Chabahar port is also important for India’s trade because of Pakistan’s reluctance in allowing India to send goods to Iran and Afghanistan through its land territory.

Also Read: Gwadar Port: China Turning Pakistan Port Into Regional Giant 

  • The development of Chabahar Port will increase the momentum of the International North-South Transport Corridor whose signatories include India, Afghanistan and Russia. Iran is the key gateway in this project. It will improve India’s trade with Central Asia as well as Europe.
    The Chabahar Port has also reduced Afghanistan’s dependence on the transit road, which went through Karachi. Now, trade can be conducted via Chabahar Port too. Islamabad has accused India of trying to use this development as a means to destabilise Pakistan.

    The Chabar Port is the said to be the counter to the Gwadar Port. Wikimedia Commons
    The Chabar Port is the said to be the counter to the Gwadar Port. Wikimedia Commons
  • The Chabahar Port also acts as a counter to the barely 100 km away, Gwadar port in Pakistan, which is developed by China. However, Iran has defended that Chabahar is not a rival to Gwadar and Pakistan is invited to join in its development.
  • In October 2017, India sent its first shipment of wheat to through Chabahar to Afghanistan, in order to test the viability of the route.
  • India will also construct a 900-km Chabahar-Zahedan-hajigak railway line that will connect Port of Chabahar to Hajigak in Afghanistan. It will also connect Mashad in the north, providing access to Turkmenistan as well as northern Afghanistan.This project is worth $1.6 billion.

    India will supply $400 million worth of steel rails to Tehrain. Wikimedia Commons
    India will supply $400 million worth of steel rails to Tehran. Wikimedia Commons
  • It is being said that India will supply $400 million of steel rails to Tehran. There are also possibilities of setting up a fertilizer plant through a joint venture with the Iranian government.