Having reopened India for tourism after three waves of COVID-19, the government and the private sector tourism industry are concentrating on the Gulf region to forge new two-way collaborations in hospitality and leisure travel.

The latest initiative in this sector is India's participation in the Arabian Travel Market 2022 in Dubai, the region's largest travel and tourism exhibition.

Eighteen participants from India representing the state tourism establishments of Kerala, Nagaland, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka provinces are participating in the four-day event in Dubai. In addition, tour operators, travel agents, hoteliers and resort owners are present in the India Pavilion of the Arabian Travel Market 2022, showcasing their diverse tourism products and services.

Rupinder Brar, Additional Director-General of India's Ministry of Tourism, said that the participation in the Arabian Travel Market is part of her country's "holistic promotion of Indian tourism in the Middle East. A large number of tourists from the Middle East visit India for meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE), medical, wellness and luxury tourism," she said, according to a readout by the Ministry of Tourism of the activities at the Indian Pavilion.

The Pavilion was inaugurated jointly by Satpal Maharaj, Minister of Tourism in Uttarakhand state, Dr. Aman Puri, Consul General of India in Dubai, and Rupinder Brar.

"The Indian tourism outlook is very promising with an upward trend in foreign tourist arrivals barring the period of COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020," the readout said. "As the situation is getting steadily normalized, the Gulf and the Middle East region is one of the most important markets for India."

India's foray into the Dubai exhibition comes close on the heels of "Incredible India Reconnect 2022," a virtual roadshow in Oman.

The Ministry of Tourism said, "As India opens its borders post-pandemic, we are organising a series of virtual roadshows along with Indian Missions in the Middle East as a means to reconnect with existing partners and explore new ties and opportunities."

"The first Incredible India Reconnect event in the Gulf signals the start of efforts between the government and the market to encourage bilateral tourism by recognising the issues, challenges, and opportunities to strengthen and build momentum on two-way growth phase," the Ministry said.