H E Vipul
India's Ambassador to the State of Qatar, H E Vipul, emphasized the robust and amicable bilateral relations between Qatar and India, citing the growing collaboration across diverse sectors. He particularly highlighted the increasing cooperation in tourism, emphasizing its role in strengthening people-to-people ties. The Ambassador pointed out that the two countries are linked by over 200 weekly flights, providing a foundation for enhanced tourism exchange.
Speaking at an event organized by the Embassy of India in collaboration with the Indian Business and Professionals Council to commemorate India's National Tourism Day, Ambassador Vipul expressed the need to encourage more Qatari visitors to explore India. Despite the considerable number of weekly flights, he noted that there is room for further promotion and engagement.
Ambassador Vipul discussed India's significant progress in the tourism sector, currently ranking 22nd globally in terms of the most visited countries. He shared India's ambitious targets of attracting 30 million foreign tourists by 2028 and 100 million by 2047, emphasizing the country's diverse offerings, including heritage tourism with iconic sites like the Taj Mahal, Ajanta caves, Red Fort, and Charminar.
The Ambassador believes that with India's economic growth and concerted efforts from all stakeholders, these tourism targets can be achieved sooner than expected. He highlighted India's rich cultural and historical heritage, advocating for better promotion to realize the tourism sector's potential.
Regarding the economic impact, Ambassador Vipul mentioned that the tourism sector is projected to contribute approximately $250 billion to India's GDP by 2030, creating employment opportunities for around 137 million individuals.
J K Menon, Chairman of IBPC, echoed the importance of the travel and tourism industry in India's economy, emphasizing its remarkable growth and potential as a premium global destination. Er. Nasser Jeham Al Kuwari, former CEO of QChem & QAFAC, emphasized the significant role tourism plays as a bridge between India and Qatar, praising India's natural wonders and the strong air connectivity between the two nations.
Pronab Sarkar, Managing Director of Swagatam Tours Pvt Ltd., provided a keynote presentation on luxury tourism in India, highlighting the country's appeal as a global destination. Social media influencers Khalid Mohd Al Jaber and Dr. Mohammed Aflahe shared their travel experiences, contributing to the event's discussions.
The event concluded with a panel discussion exploring various facets and prospects of tourism in India, followed by closing remarks from Jaffer Us Sadik, President of IBPC.