Catalonia crisis: No worries for Indian tourists despite political upheaval in Spain | world-news | Hindustan Times
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Catalonia crisis: No worries for Indian tourists despite political upheaval in Spain

An official of the Spanish embassy in New Delhi described the developments in Catalonia as a “domestic political issue” which had not affected tourism in any way.

world Updated: Oct 11, 2017 16:04 IST
HT Correspondent
Supporters of an independent Catalonia listen to Catalan president Carles Puigdemont's speech broadcasted on a television screen at the Arc de Triomf in Barcelona on October 10, 2017.
Supporters of an independent Catalonia listen to Catalan president Carles Puigdemont's speech broadcasted on a television screen at the Arc de Triomf in Barcelona on October 10, 2017.(AFP)

The pro-independence movement and political turmoil in Catalonia has not hit the number of Indian tourists making a beeline for Spain, Indian and Spanish officials said on Wednesday.

The Indian embassy in Madrid has not issued any special advisory for tourists travelling to Barcelona, the capital of Catalonia and a favourite with many Indian travellers since it was featured in the 2011 Bollywood hit Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.

Political developments since the disputed October 1 referendum in the northeastern province, which Catalan leaders say resulted in a “Yes” vote for independence, have also not affected some 10,000 Indian nationals who live in Catalonia, officials said.

“We have not issued any special travel advisory but, as and when needed, it could be issued. We have also been receiving queries from Indian tourists about whether it is safe to visit Catalonia and we have told them there are currently no problems,” said an official at the Indian embassy.

An official of the Spanish embassy in New Delhi described the developments in Catalonia as a “domestic political issue” which had not affected tourism in any way. The official added that the issue of Catalonia is expected to be resolved in the near future.

“Tourists are having no problems in travelling across Spain. They can take the train from Madrid to Barcelona, which is one of the most touristic places,” the official said.

Spain is home to some 40,000 Indians, including a large number of farm workers from northern India. The figure has risen from 9,000 in 2001. There are also more than 500 Indian students in the country.

In addition, there are also a few thousands of Spanish citizens of Indian origin. The Indian diaspora in Spain is the third largest Asian community after the Chinese and Pakistanis.

More than 85,000 Indian tourists visited Spain in 2015, with the numbers getting a major boost in the wake of the release of Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, which many have credited with making the country a household name in India.