India seeks Indonesian investment in hotel sector


New Delhi : Tourism Minister Ambika Soni met a visiting Indonesian parliamentarian delegation Monday and invited investments from the Southeast Asian country in India's hotel sector.

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Soni called for investments since 100 percent foreign direct investment (FDI) was allowed in India's hotel industry. She told the delegation that FDI worth $6.5 billion was already in the pipeline for hotel construction in India, a ministry statement said.

During the one-hour meet here Soni said that other areas of cooperation between the two countries that could be strengthened were human resource development in the tourism sector, capacity building, participation in tourism fairs, exchange of travel correspondents and holding cultural exhibitions in each other's country.

The minister said India and Indonesia could contribute significantly in promoting regional cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region in the tourism sector.

The India Tourism Office in Singapore, which looks after the Indonesian market, participates in travel fairs held in Indonesia to showcase India's tourist destinations there.

It is slated to participate in the Indonesia Trade Fiesta 2007 from Aug 1 in Jakarta and the PATA Travel Mart at Bali in September.

The 15-member Indonesian delegation, led by Abdul Hamam Naja, vice-speaker in the Indonesian parliament, showed keen interest in the tourism and film industries of India and discussed ways to strengthen cooperation in these sectors.

Soni said that over four million international tourists had visited India in 2006 alone and that the figure was expected to increase to 10 million by 2010.

She added that the government might allow visa on arrival for tourists once the upgrade and modernisation of Delhi and Mumbai airports were complete.