India is fast emerging as Asia's top spiritual, medical and rural tourism destination and is a safe place for foreign tourists, Tourism Secretary Sujit Banerjee has said.
"India holds a strong appeal for Canadians to explore inexpensive Indian spiritual, cultural heritage and medical tourism," Banerjee on Thursday said at a road show organised by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Indian Chapter to attract North American tourists.
The road show in which top 12 Indian tour operators participated is aimed at selling India as an exotic place to North Americans to further raise foreign tourist traffic from 5.1 million last year.
Top Canadians tour operators and civil aviation companies have shown keen interest in various Indian tourism products ranging from glimpses of India's spiritual and cultural heritage, ecotourism, medical tourism, and wild life to rural tourism.
Banerjee highlighted the fact that India is a great country to invest or travel, for either work or pleasure.
He said that there was growing interest in India's ecotourism as well as medical tourism among North Americans.
"India offers a myriad experiences, it is a holistic destination and it is an enlightened holiday for any Canadian visitors," Banerjee said.
Currently, only about 400,000 visitors travel between India and Canada each year, with the Canadians, mostly NRIs, accounting for 80 per cent of the tourist traffic.
Inviting Canadians to have a "taste of India", Banerjee said India is "a journey of mind and soul and the five senses".
"Interest in rural tourism is also growing as more and more foreign tourists were visiting India's 166 rural tourism destinations," he said.
Preeti Saran, Consul General of India, said: "India is a secure destination. It is secure for its 1 billion people. It is also secure for foreign nationals."