Tourism / Heritage / Cultural Cooperation
There is great potential for Indo-French cooperation in living heritage, urban development and beautification. France and India share similarities, with their rich cultural histories and love for heritage. An estimated 3,00,000 Indian tourists visit France every year. The number of visas issued for Indian tourists has jumped from 65,000 in 2013 to 88,000 in 2014 (+35%). As for French tourists visiting India, they were around 2,50,000 in 2013 (ranking 8th among foreign travellers). Indo-French cooperation on tourism and heritage is growing, having started with a renovation agreement signed in 2000 for helping local inhabitants retain the heritage of old Ahmedabad, and others for development projects in Pondicherry. This trend will continue with partnerships between institutions specialized in heritage preservation, between world famous monuments in France and India, and heritage institutions, as well as tourism-oriented projects in various cities across India.
To open France even wider to Indian visitors, with effect from 1st January 2015, the French government has been issuing tourist and business visas within 48 hours (2 working days) for Indians visiting France, contributing to the increase of the number of visas issued. India, for her part, has decided to extend the Tourist Visa on Arrival scheme to French nationals.
On 11 April, Prime Minister Modi will visit the XVIIIth century centre of Toulouse. This city, a smart city by European standards, has beautifully preserved its heritage buildings.
25. The two leaders stressed that there is immense potential for increasing tourism between France and India. In this regard, they welcomed the signing of a Letter of Intent on promoting closer cooperation between two countries in this area, including on twinning of historical monuments and sites in the two countries.
26. France welcomes India’s decision to extend Tourist Visa on Arrival – Electronic Travel Authorisation (TVOA-ETA) scheme to France. India welcomes the French decision to implement a scheme for expedited 48 hours visa issuance for Indian tourists.
30. The two leaders welcomed the range of cooperation initiatives undertaken by Indian and French institutions in a move to promote and preserve the unique heritage of the two countries. They noted with satisfaction a number of steps taken in this direction. This includes:
(i) Arrangement for training of Indian Heritage Professionals between French and Indian Ministries of Culture, in presence of the Institut National du Patrimoine (INP);
(ii) Letter of Intent between Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and Institut National de Recherches Archéologiques Préventives of France (INRAP), France on training, exchange of best practices, and deployment of experts, especially in the area of Underwater Archaeology;
(iii) Understanding between the two sides to include urban heritage preservation as an area of cooperation within the ambit of JWG on Urban Development;
(iv) Arrangement for twinning of historical monuments and sites;
(v) Arrangements for cooperation between School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi and School of International Architecture, Paris for training, joint research and exchange of students and faculty.
31. The President of the French Republic and the Prime Minister of India, recalling the utmost importance of culture for the mutual understanding of their two nations, noted the successful organisation of two editions of the Festival of France in India, ’Bonjour India’; and the first edition of Festival of India in France, ’Namaste France’; and welcomed that next editions of both will be organized in 2016.
32. They welcomed the decision of the Government of India to support the organisation of a Regional Hindi Conference, for the first time, in Paris in view of the growing interest in France in Hindi.
33. The two Leaders welcomed the declaration of 21 June as the ’International Day of Yoga’ by the United Nations and agreed to celebrate the ’International Day of Yoga’ in a befitting manner.
34. They welcomed the signing of the Letter of Intent between Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CRAS), Ministry of Ayush, and University of Strasbourg for cooperation in the field of education and research in Ayurveda, through exchange of students, teachers, researchers, scientific and technical publications.
35. They also welcomed the role of the Alliances Françaises in India, the Institut Français en Inde and the Indian Cultural Center in France in the promotion of cultural relations between our two countries.
Twinning of Château de Chambord / City Palace, Udaipur // signed on 9 April in Chambord
- The Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Domaine National de Chambord and the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation (City Palace, Udaipur) stems from a desire at the highest level to bring together the Loire Valley, France, and Rajasthan. Both are regions that offer exceptional heritage tourism within relative proximity of the capitals of the respective countries, which make them top tourist destinations.
- This project is being conducted between two prestigious institutions known not only for their rich heritage but also the endeavours they have made to protect and promote these sites as a living heritage. They have set four goals: 1) promotion of knowledge about the two sites and their region amongst the respective publics; 2) sharing expertise on heritage conservation; 3) joint publicity to promote tourist visits at these destinations; 4) organisation of joint events.
- Apart from the work that will be carried out under this MoU, this emblematic partnership could inspire other institutions of the Loire Valley and Rajasthan, or others in France and India, to follow suit.
Administrative arrangement on heritage between the Indian and French Ministries of Culture, in the presence of Institut National du Patrimoine (INP) and National Museum, New Delhi // signed on 9 April at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Quai d’Orsay
Letter of Intent on strengthening cooperation on tourism between the governments// signed on 9 April at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Quai d’Orsay
- The signing of the Letter of Intent for strengthening tourism cooperation stems from the desire of the two governments to bolster ties and cooperation between our two countries, which are both endowed with a rich cultural patrimony and an exceptional heritage. For both France (the top tourist destination worldwide) and India (a major must-visit destination of Asia), tourism is a major facet of the economy. Given this background, it appeared necessary to develop ties, including public and private operators, with the aim of increasing tourist flows and tourism development investments. The promotion of sustainable tourism, including preservation of heritage and natural sites is also a major challenge.
- In concrete terms, France and India will undertake to facilitate cooperation or twinning between important tourist spots, jointly promote the tourist destinations of each other’s country, chart itineraries and organize events on culture, art and heritage (festivals, exhibitions, etc.), cooperate on tourist safety, and facilitate the implementation of sustainable tourism.
MoU between Ecole supérieure d’architecture Paris La Villette and School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi // signed on 9 April at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Quai d’Orsay
Letter of Intent on preventive archaeology and Institut national des recherches archéologiques préventives (INRAP) and the Archeological Survey of India // signed on 9 April at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, Quai d’Orsay
Letter of Intent on Ayurveda between Ministry of Ayush and University of Strasbourg
- Development of cooperation in the area of Ayurveda education and research by undertaking academic and research activities, exploring feasibility of collaborative research, and drawing up strategies for dissemination of results of completed studies, joint workshops/conferences on Ayurveda.