Canada gets set to showcase its assets to Indian travellers
This year a strong build up campaign and large number of road shows are expected to woo Indian tourists to Canada.
“We are giving a big push to the focus to attract all sections of Indians, especially the burgeoning middle class to travel to Canada,” the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism, Maxime Bernier who was in India recently said. Canada has extended a liberal visa policy towards India and had issued nearly 1.30 lakh visas to visiting Indian tourists in 2012.
“We are organising various road shows, meeting a lot of people connected with the travel world and now nearly 68 flights connect India with Canada every week which was something exceptional. We are also looking towards students as potential messengers of goodwill who want to study in Canada. We are looking at signing formally a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Indian Tourism Ministry for cooperation in various sectors and students could be the possible focus of this MoU,” he added.
Asserting that safety of women and any kind of security issues was not a cause for concern as far as Canadian tourists travelling to India is concerned, he said rather efforts would be made to consolidate this growing relationship and enhance the exchange of people and trade between the two countries.
The campaign to expose Indian travellers to Canada is to take a multi-dimensional thrust. “India is a growing market for those who want to travel abroad. We are looking at all kinds of people travelling to Canada as tourists and are not focusing on any kind of niche segment. India has a growing middle class which has an aspiration to travel beyond its borders and Canada tourism offers that opportunity in a big and convenient manner,” the Minister remarked.
Mr. Bernier said 2012 was a record year for Indian travellers to Canada and said it was a milestone as a demonstration of the increasingly close relationship between the two countries. “Indian travellers are among our top ten international travellers to visit Canada. Our government is working with industry to capitalise on this growth, to welcome even more Indian travellers and to create jobs and growth in Canada, while strengthening our relationship with our Indian visitors. Attracting an increasing number of visitors to Canada, including the best and brightest young minds, is part of our plan to grow the economy and create jobs. We strive to issue visas and permits as quickly as possible to facilitate travel for visitors and students and to benefit from the economic spin-off they bring to Canada,” he added.
In November 2012, Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced plans to open a new consulate in Bangalore. The Harper Government has also made significant improvements to the visa application process. The period for which multiple-entry visas are valid was extended from 5 years to 10 years, which allows visitors to enter and exit Canada for up to six months at a time over 10 years.