Tourism between China and India will "develop at an amazing speed", said Nirupama Rao, India's ambassador to China, on Wednesday at the closing ceremony of the "China-India year of friendship through tourism-2007".
Rao said that with the ending of the year 2007 came a new chapter of the communications between the two peoples.
She said that since 2005, India had conducted cooperation with many Chinese airline companies, which was conducive to the promotion of the two countries tourism interaction.
"Further connections are needed between cities of the two countries," she added.
China and India reported more than 530,000 tourists between the two countries, thanks to a series of tourism promotion campaigns last year.
In 2007, a total of 70,000 Chinese tourists visited India, a year-on-year 14 percent increase, and 460,000 Indian tourists came to China, up by 48 percent.
"The year 2007 is just a beginning. The Sino-India exchanges mechanism will improve further with the promotion of tourism," said Shao Qiwei, head of China's National Tourism Administration.
"I hope in the near future, India will become the No.1 tourist destination for the Chinese people, and vise versa," Rao said.
(Xinhua News Agency January 31, 2008)