Norway India Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NICCI) hosted an event in June focusing on Norway-India tourism. Tima Iyer Utne, NICCI Chair, in the opening address gave a deep insight and shared, "Tourism is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. NICCI wants to end this season by giving our members and invited guests insight in the sector and to join us in exploring the business opportunities."
Introducing India as a tourist destination, Debraj Pradhan, the Ambassador of India to Norway, promoted India as a round the year destination with 32 World Heritage sites, attractions of both ancient and exotic cultures, and an emerging modern India.
Recalling that India was visited by almost 9 million tourists in 2016, contributing to 6% of the GDP, he added that India has a unique wildlife, adventure and sports, the fantastic luxury trains and a wide range of accommodation from simple and very affordable guesthouses to the 5-star deluxe palace hotels.
Claiming that India is important for Norway, State Secretary Dilek Ayhan, Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries said, "Trade between our countries remains modest, but we have seen a substantial growth in last ten years and a Free Trade Agreement between EFTA and India, could be the most important tool to increase trade and investments, with great mutual benefit for our countries."
Talking about how major movie productions boost tourism, Ayhan, presented a possibility that maybe last year's 23 percent increase in travel bookings from India could have been a result of the Bollywood blockbuster 'Shivam', which included scenes from the Atlantic Road and the Geiranger Fjord. She wished to welcome more tourists from India in the future, to experience wild nature, northern lights and an exotic urban life.
Loveleen Rihel Brenna, CEO Seema AS, presented her view that India is a fantastic country, with a great potential for tourism from Norway. She talked about selling the "Incredible India" strategy in Norway.
Holte, Market Director Tourism Asia and New Developing Markets began with the view that Indian travelers are visiting multiple countries in one trip; therefore, pan-Scandinavian cooperation in facilitation is crucial. He added, "We know for a fact that Indians travel as families, making Scandinavia a good match, since we have a lot to offer for all age groups."
After the seminar, a garden reception hosted by Embassy of India lighted the evening. With food arranged by Niru Kamur from Masala Magic who presented mouth watering Indian delights. Followed by a rythmic performance by Richa Chandra and her group, captivating the audience with their exotic dance moves in the Oslo garden.
Tourism sector of a country involves a lot of intricacies, especially, the international ties between two countries which get bridged with the movement of people from different nationalities. (ANI)