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The Union Minister of State for Tourism (Independent Charge), Culture (Independent Charge) and Civil Aviation, Dr Mahesh Sharma held a meeting with the members of Ambassadors Forum, India in New Delhi today. The Ambassadors/High Commissioners of thirteen countries including Canada, Greece, Mexico, Nepal, Norway, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Turkey, and European Union were among those present at the meeting. The meeting was held to promote relationships based on tourism and culture between India and the member countries.

Addressing the participants, Dr Mahesh Sharma said that the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has been laying emphasis on promoting tourism and culture during his visit to various countries. The Minister said that the Indian culture can contribute a lot to the world community. It is due to this reason that the government is now giving utmost importance to safety, cleanliness and hospitality in order to inspire confidence among the tourists visiting India, he said. Addressing the safety issue is our main concern, the Minister explained. To ensure safety of tourists , the Ministry of Tourism has introduced Welcome cards for tourists, has set up a special Helpline and is imparting training to drivers, street vendors etc., he said.

The participants highlighted the importance of improving connectivity and wanted direct flights of Air India connecting the capital cities of various countries to India. They also offered to give incentives to Bollywood producers/directors for shooting films at beautiful locations in their countries. The countries of Europe wanted that the facility of e-tourist visa be extended to all the European countries. The participating countries proposed that improving people to people exchanges and contacts will go a long way to improve the relationship of these countries with India and yield good results in other areas like trade etc. The Ambassadors Forum seeks involvement of serving Heads of Mission from all regions of the world and provides a unique platform for developing viable solutions for matters of vital interest, generating international goodwill and understanding along with decision makers.