Three Indian states to jointly strengthen tourism ties with Russia

Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 22 (IANS) Tourism departments of three states – Kerala, Goa and Uttarakhand – have decided to jointly set up a formal association with Russia’s tourism and culture ministry to promote tourist arrivals and cultural exchanges, an official said on Tuesday.

The key areas under the purview of the new initiative will include a marketing campaign to increase the arrival of Russian tourists to India through various cultural and tourism promotional programmes.

Kerala Tourism director P.I. Sheikh Pareeth said he had held talks in the regard with Russian tourism and culture ministry’s tourism and regional policy department head Olga Yarilova, while he was in Moscow last week to take part in the OTDYKH Leisure, a leading international trade fair for travel and tourism.

A team of key Russian tour operators and state tourism representatives from Goa and Uttarkhand, India Tourism and Indian embassy officials too were present at the meeting.

The Russian delegation raised the issues on reducing the visa fees and the airport fee incurred on chartered flights from Russia to India and also expressed concern about the lack of Russian-speaking guides in Kerala.

“Considering the issues raised, we have agreed to publish a list of Russian guides in our Kerala Tourism’s Russian language version website,” said Pareeth.

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