Bali, Uttarakhand ink deal to boost tourism, health sectors
Uttarakhand and Indonesia’s Bali province on Monday signed a five-point agreement to “extend mutual cooperation” to give a boost to sectors such as health, tourism and culture, and e-governance besides ensuring environmental conservationdehradun Updated: Apr 23, 2018 21:58 IST
Uttarakhand and Indonesia’s Bali province on Monday signed a five-point agreement to “extend mutual cooperation” to give a boost to sectors such as health, tourism and culture, and e-governance besides ensuring environmental conservation.
The agreement was signed between chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat and Bali governor I Made Mangku Pastika.
“By signing the memorandum of understanding (MoU), both the sides have committed themselves to extending mutual cooperation in five key areas including tourism & culture,” cabinet minister Madan Kaushik said at a press conference which was also addressed by Pastika.
Kaushik said the mutual cooperation from both sides would help boost tourists’ influx to the mountain state from Bali, Indonesia’s “only predominantly” Hindu province.
“On an average, some 4,000 tourists visit the state from Bali annually,” he said. “Both sides will now work together to ensure that their arrivals get a further boost.”
The agreement would also go a long way in giving a boost to e-governance services in the hill state. “The mutual cooperation will help ensure capacity building of human resource,” Kaushik said.
“Besides, the agreement will also pave the way for giving a fillip to the health sector as well as the environmental conservation.”
Kaushik said Bali, where some 17000 foreign tourists “visit every day and is also known for the hospitality of its citizens, could show us” the way in giving a boost to tourism. He said the people in Uttarakhand, too, “have a similar fascination for that island province (Bali).”
The minister said the pilgrimage centres of Haridwar and Rishikesh are very popular with Bali’s Hindu population.
“It may be the Bali governor’s first official visit to this state but he had been to Haridwar twice in 2007 and 2014,” he said.
Tourism secretary Dileep Jawalkar said during his current visit, Pastika would stay in Haridwar where he would take round of the holy city before leaving for Indonesia on Tuesday.
The Bali governor said with its rich experience in tourism his province was equipped to boost the tourism sector in Uttarakhand.
“It (Bali) may be a tiny island but it is the only province in Indonesia, which has the highest (90%) population of Hindus,” he said.
“Bali is very popular (among foreign tourists) as it has preserved the Hindu culture,” Pastika said, adding people “from all over the world visit Bali just to see the original culture of the Hindus” in that province.
“We want to share our knowledge and experience to boost tourism in the holy places like Haridwar and the agreement that has been signed will help achieve that objective,” he said.
“To us the holy places of Haridwar and Rishikesh are what Mecca is to Muslims and Jerusalam is to Christians.”
The Bali governor said both culturally and institution-wise Bali had a lot to offer to the hill state.
“We have institutions and universities where students are specially trained to treat the tourists with utmost courtesy,” he said, adding his state would share that experience with Uttarakhand.
Pastika said tourism “is the only industry in the world that not only has a huge potential but it also doesn’t damage the environment unlike the industry”.
He said Bali would share with Uttarakhand its expertise in the area of tourism and hospitality sectors, road connectivity and waste management etc.