Kuala Lumpur : The High Commission of India in Kuala Lumpur organized an India Tourism Promotion Event on 12 November 2021 at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose India Cultural Centre at Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur. Tourism and travel sector from Malaysia were represented by MITTA (Malaysian Indian Travel and Tours Association) and MATTA (Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents).
The event began with welcome remarks by the First Secretary, Ms. C.Sushma (pic) who highlighted that the event is being held on the eve of India opening its borders for international tourism on 15 November 2021. Various applicable guidelines were highlighted to the audience including quarantine restrictions for international arrival into India. Various initiatives undertaken by the Government of India to boost the tourism sector, were outlined, including first 500,000 tourist visas free of charge, specific tourist circuits targeted at spiritual tourism, Buddhist tourism and adventure tourism etc. Specific initiatives undertaken by the State Governments were also highlighted. A slideshow highlighting these initiatives and India Tourism videos were presented to the audience.
Dato’ K. Thangavelu (pic), President MITTA, highlighted that India’s decision to open its borders for international tourism from 15 November is a crucial landmark for the tourism sector. He thanked HCI KL for organizing this event and outlined how important it is for the tour operators to be aware of the exact guidelines for international arrival both in India and Malaysia to be able to offer suitable guidance to the tourists. Dato’ Thangavelu said that MITTA will look forward to working with the HCI KL to promote tourism between India and Malaysia.
Mr. Ganneesh Ramachandran, Vice President (Inbound & Domestic) MATTA, highlighted how India offers multiple opportunities for tourism and how India has always been a popular destination for Malaysian nationals. He said that the announcement by the Government of Malaysia to possibly open its international border for tourism in January 2022 will further help boost tourism traffic between the two countries.
Dato’ A. Aruldas, Deputy President, MITTA, highlighted that Malaysians are keenly looking forward to visit India. He was confident that once the flight connectivity resumes and travel restrictions ease, the tourism will soon resume.
High Commissioner H.E. Mr. B.N. Reddy addressed the audience and highlighted how people-to-people linkages form the foundation of India Malaysia partnership.
Tourism and visits are critical for furthering these linkages. High Commissioner announced that Indian Visa Application Collection Centre in Kuala Lumpur will become operational from 15 November 2021. During the pandemic, the visa applications are being received and processed at the High Commission.
The High Commissioner also spoke about two key enabling factors for tourism besides the travel regulations: 1. Mutual recognition of vaccination certificates and 2. Air bubble arrangement between India and Malaysia. India and Malaysia are working together towards an early finalisation of these arrangements. High Commissioner assured the Malaysian Travel and Tour sector that HCI KL will continue to facilitate in all possible ways to revive the tourist visits from Malaysia to India.