Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made a strong pitch for attracting more Chinese tourists to India during his recent summit with President Xi Jinping.
China provides the largest number of outbound tourists anywhere in the world, the numbers running into several millions.
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Modi has told his Tourism Ministry to target one per cent of the outbound Chinese tourist flow within a year and 10 per cent of it in five years.
Currently only under three lakhs Chinese visit India a year against 12 lakhs Indians visiting China.
Modi’s elaborate temple tours with Xi at Mamallapuram , beamed live on Chinese TV, may indeed evince more interest about India in the Land of the Dragon.
But Northeast will not benefit.
Northeast Now learns that the Tourism Ministry is focusing on South, Rajasthan and the eastern Buddhist circuit (Gaya- Sarnath-Sanchi) for offering to Chinese tourists.
Northeast is left out because of overwhelming security considerations.
In fact tourist visas issued to Chinese visitors may clearly state out of bound areas – and Northeast and Kashmir may figure in that list.
So the big splurging Chinese tourists may benefit urban and backwater economies across India but Northeast, marked out for special attention for tourism development by the Modi government, will not gain from a possible Chinaman surge.