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Britain seeks Indian tourism boost

As prime minister David Cameron arrives in India with one of the largest trade delegations ever assembled, VisitBritian has announced its intention to bid for closer ties with the emerging superpower.

The national tourism agency has confirmed it will stage its main international travel trade event in Bangalore, in the Indian state of Karnataka, next year.

Pictured: The Indian city of Bangalore will host the event

Leading firms from the UK travel trade will meet 100 of the top buyers from 15 countries across the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Australia region.

The event is expected to generate around £10 million of tourism business for more than 70 companies that are due to take part.

Secretary of state for culture, Olympics, media and sport, Jeremy Hunt, said: “The number of visitors from India to Britain has more than doubled over the past fifteen years, and we want to do all we can to ensure this growth continues.


“By holding one of its largest events in Bangalore next year not only will this inspire more people to visit our shores, but it will also lead to and increase in business for all those within the UK tourism industry who are taking part.”


The prime minister arrived in India late on Tuesday in an attempt to boost Anglo-Indian relations.

He has been accompanied in his first visit to Asia since being elected by a number of senior cabinet colleagues, including foreign secretary William Hague and business secretary Vince Cable.

However, in a move designed to recalibrate the nature of the relationship with the former colleague, international development secretary Andrew Mitchell has remained in the UK.

Since taking office, the coalition government has repeatedly stressed the need to place economic co-operation and trade development at the heart of its foreign policy, with increased focus on fast-growing economies in Asia and Latin America.

A number of deals have already been done, with defence group BAE Systems and engine supplier Rolls-Royce signing a £700m deal to supply India’s Hindustan Aeronautics with 57 Hawk training jets.

The tourism sector is hoping to emulate this success with its own event – Destination Britain & Ireland 2011 - which will be held in May next year at the Leela Palace hotel.

The number of visitors from India to Britain in 2009 was 270,000; a figure expected to grow by ten per cent annually over the next decade.

Around 30 per cent of visits from India to Britain are for a business related trip.