New Delhi: Ministry of Tourism today announced the launch of the first-ever ‘Incredible India Golf Tourism Summit 2014’ , led by the Ministry of Tourism , Government of India in association with FICCI and with the support of India Golf Tourism Association IGTA. The Summit will be held in New Delhi on October 8-10, 2014, which would culminate with an Incredible India Golf Tourism Award , Incredible India Golf Tournament and FAM trips to Golf Courses for the hosted Tour Operators from across the world specializing in promoting Golf Tourism.

The Ministry of Tourism in association with FICCI and with the support of India Golf Tourism Association here today organized a conference on ‘Incredible India Golf Tourism Summit 2014’ to promote this niche area of tourism in a substantial way.

The chief guest of the conference, Mr. Parwez Dewan, Secretary Tourism, Government of India, said that the ministry promotes the 15 signature golf courses of India at every road show and opportunity that arises to attract foreign golf tourists to India and make the country a preferred golfing destination.

On the occasion, Mr. Dewan also announced that the Maldivians coming to India for medical tourism can now travel visa free for up to 90 days. This comes as a major breakthrough for the medical tourism industry.

Mr. Anand Kumar, Joint Secretary Tourism, Government of India, said that India is located strategically and can cater to the European, ASEAN, Japanese and Chinese golf tourism markets with ease. Also, India offers competitive pricing and the connectivity within and to India has improved considerably, which can help in promoting golf tourism. But we have not been able to promote India as a golf destination effectively in the past and other markets like Thailand and Malaysia have an edge over India as they started out earlier than us.

However, he said, India offers vast experiences in terms of setting of the golf courses. The country has golf courses near sea, in high altitudes and has some of the oldest and famous golf courses. Also, the country is a preferred destination for cultural tourism and wellness tourism and these can be tied up with golf tourism to give both golfing and tourism a boost, Mr. Kumar added.

Dr. Jyotsna Suri, Senior Vice President, FICCI, said that the highlight of the summit would be the 12 hours of structured, pre-scheduled B2B meetings in the two days between hosted industry handpicked leading foreign tour operators from across 30 countries who specialize in golf tourism with the stakeholders of this niche area from India, besides the interactive conclave pondering over critical issues on day one.

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