Riyadh: In an effort to revive tourism and boost bilateral relations between India and Saudi Arabia, the India Trade Promotion Council on Sunday organised a webinar on tourism cooperation between India and Saudi Arabia with the support of the embassies of the two countries.
Indian ambassador Dr Ausaf Sayeed gave the keynote speech in which he outlined the diverse types of tourism opportunities that India offers – adventure tourism, cultural tourism, medical and spiritual tourism, and scenic tourism.
According to the media reports, the ambassador also talked about the opportunities available in Indian medical tourism in terms of Ayush treatment as well as allopathic treatment. At the same time, he emphasized the attractiveness that yoga has gained in the Kingdom as a result of signing a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of yoga on June 21 with the Kingdom.
Sayeed sought facilities from the Saudi authorities to gradually ease the travel ban on India while considering health certificates/vaccination options along with other COVID-19 safety protocols.
The ambassador praised the Kingdom’s efforts in promoting the post-pandemic tourism sector. He outlined the recently organized Tourism Revival Summit and the establishment of the Tourism Development Fund.
Speaking on strengthening tourism collaboration between India and Saudi Arabia, G. Kamala Vardhana Rao, IAS, C&MD, ITDC, on behalf of the ministry of tourism, Government of India, said, “India holds 10th position globally as far as Medical Value Tourism is concerned, due to affordability, accessibility, and availability of medical facilities. It is the 7th dominating country in the world and 3rd in the Asia Pacific region in terms of wellness tourism. India has received 4.95 lakh medical tourists in 2017 which has gone up to over 7 lakhs in 2019.”
The event witnessed the participation of the relevant Indian and Saudi government agencies and tourism companies from both countries along with many Indian and Saudi citizens.