New Delhi: A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, Government of Finland was signed on 21 November for strengthening cooperation in the field of tourism. The MOU was signed by Prahlad Singh Patel, Indian Minister for Culture and Tourism (Independent Charge), and Timo Harakka, Minister of Economic Affairs and Employment, Government of Finland.
A high-level delegation consisting of Arto Haapea, Minister Counsellor and Ritva Koukku-Ronde, Ambassador-Designate accompanied Harakka. Yogendra Tripathi, Secretary (Tourism) was also present on the occasion.
India and Finland have enjoyed a strong diplomatic and long economic relationship. The two countries now desiring to strengthen and further develop the established relationship have signed an MoU for strengthening cooperation in the field of tourism.
Finland is one of the important inbound source markets for India. In 2018, more than 20,000 Finnish tourists visited India. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with Finland will be instrumental in increasing tourist arrivals from this source market.
The signing of MoU is expected to establish the basis for a cooperative relationship to encourage and promote successful bilateral cooperation in the field of tourism, sharing data, knowledge, and expertise related to tourism and sharing experiences in making policies, regulation and standards in planning, implementation and development of tourism policy, and encouraging development of partnerships in the context of multilateral development programs and projects of international financial institutions, in which both participants have common interests.
Earlier this week, Mariyna Nikolova, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic and Demographic Policy of the Republic of Bulgaria accompanied by a high-level delegation met Patel and discussed the ways and means to promote and develop tourism between India and Bulgaria.
Earlier in the week, Patel also identified the Buddhist Circuit as one of the fifteen thematic circuits under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme and has sanctioned 5 projects for Rs. 355.26 crore. Additionally, the Tourism Ministry sanctioned 77 projects under Swadesh Darshan Scheme and 28 projects under Prashad Schemes, worth Rs 6,882 Crores, for the holistic development of tourism in India.
In a move to boost tourism in Southern India, the Karnataka State Tourism Development Corporation (KSTDC) also signed an MoU with IRCTC earlier in the week to run the Golden Chariot Train. IRCTC is planning a revamp of the train itineraries, as also to add different flavours that Karnataka has to offer.
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