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India and Seychelles recently held a delegation level bi-lateral meeting to discuss tourism cooperation between the two countries. Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister of State for Tourism and Culture and Alain St. Ange, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Government of Seychelles led their respective sides. During the 45-minute talk both the sides noted the important link that India has with Seychelles in the form of Indian nationals who have been among the earliest inhabitants of this island mostly from Tamil Nadu and later on from Gujarat. Together they constitute around 7 per cent of the total population.

During the meeting, both the sides agreed to hold roadshows to promote tourism in each other’s country. It was also agreed that both the countries would work towards constituting a Joint Forum of Tour Operators for promoting their tourism destinations and products. They both agreed to organise familiarisation tours for media and travel writers to each other’s country.

During the meeting both the sides agreed to the view that a direct non-stop flight between India and Seychelles will promote trade and tourism between the two countries in a significant way. Both the sides decided to consider this suggestion.

The visiting side showed interest in Medical Tourism in India, expertise of India in museums and archives, digitization of records and creative graphic designing. They sought India’s help in these fields. India agreed to consider the request of Seychelles side. St. Ange extended an invitation to Naik to visit Seychelles in the month of October to attend India’s Day in Seychelles and UNWTO Meeting which is scheduled to be held there.

During the meeting, India invited investments from Seychelles in the Hotel sector. India allows 100 per cent FDI in hotel sector on an automated basis. The visiting Minister of Seychelles agreed to explore the possibilities of promoting investment in the field.

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