Ambassador Emmanuel Lenain’s interview to TravelBiz Monitor
Atout France organises the 5th edition of the Ambassador’s Travel Awards in Mumbai.
Mumbai, 21 November 2019
Q How do you view the Indo-French relationship through tourism with yet another edition of annual Ambassador’s Travel Awards?
The Indo-French relation is exceptional. Our leaders enjoy great personal bonds; our countries have a partnership full of trust, and both nations have supported each other in good and bad times through history. The best way to further strengthen this relationship is through people-to-people exchange. Indians are welcome to France - be it as a student or a tourist. We would like more Indians to visit France, and would do everything possible to make the journey smooth. We are already issuing visas in 48 hours. With the aim to build a strong partnership with tour operators, I am proud to present these awards in recognition of the most creative of them.
Q In the current scenario, when the Indian economy is witnessing a slowdown across business sectors, your expectations from the tourism standpoint for 2020 from India?
I don’t see any slowdown in the tourist traffic to France. In fact, France is still an untapped potential destination for Indians, and there is much room for improvement. Currently we have 700,000 Indians visiting France, and this is less than 1% of the foreign visitors to our nation. We could do much more to improve that, and I am pretty confident that by 2025 we can reach the goal of 1 million Indian tourists. Currently, visitors to France are looking at exploring destinations beyond Paris, focusing on wine & cheese, historical sites, and culture spots. This demonstrates that France has a variety to suit every taste.