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Russia courts Indian tourists


New Delhi : Russia – like most other countries – is courting Indian tourists, who are now among the most high-spending of international travelers.

The delegation, comprising representatives of eight tourism companies and officials, is headed by chief of the Russian Federal Tourism Agency, V. Strzhalkovskiy.

The Russian tourism agency boss met Tourism Minister Ambika Soni early this week and discussed a slew of measures aimed at promoting two-way tourism between the two countries, a Russian official said.

Russia is planning to set up an information centre in New Delhi that will provide tourists with requisite information and help them in getting visas, the official said.

More people to people contacts aimed at bolstering friendship and partnership between the two countries are part of the ongoing “Year of Russia” in India which was jointly inaugurated by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Russian counterpart Victor A. Zubkov with a gala concert against the backdrop of the historic 16th century fort Purana Qila here.

With Goa emerging as a hot tourist destination for Russians thirsting for sun and sea, the Indian tourism ministry has also plans to organize road shows in Russia by August-September to promote India as a tourist destination.

There is also a plan to increase flights between and hold tourism exhibitions in each other’s country.