Belgium and France: World War One will bring Indian tourists

Apart from official ceremonies, a series of exhibitions and events is being organised in both India and France. Museums have been renovated with new objects and documents kept on display.

Belgium and France: World War One will bring Indian tourists

Apart from official ceremonies, a series of exhibitions and events is being organised in both India and France. Museums have been renovated with new objects and documents kept on display. The 2014 edition of Tour de France will pass through several sites where the war was fought, as a mark of homage.

Nearly 70,000 Indian soldiers who died in the battlefields of Western Europe during World War-I will be hounoured in the centennial commemoration in Belgium and France next year. The tourism boards of both the countries are making a pitch to attract Indian tourists for the occasion.

“We are expecting at least two million extra visitors to the sites and cultural events in remembrance of the Great War in the coming years from all over the world. We hope to receive a large number of visitors from India for the commemoration of World War-I in Flanders and Brussels. Indian soldiers played a major role during World War-I. Around 72,000 fought in Flanders as members of the British army (Indian Army Corps) and 7,000 of them lost their lives,” said Sunil Puri, managing director, Visit Flanders, in India.

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Visit Flanders is the tourism office of Flanders region of Belgium. Recently it organised a tourism seminar on The Great War Centenary focussing on enhancing the awareness of the Indian travel trade on activities being planned from 2014-2018 on World War-I remembrance in the region.

Recently it organised a tourism seminar on The Great War Centenary focussing on enhancing the awareness of the Indian travel trade on activities being planned from 2014- 2018 on World War I remembrance in the region.

“Besides this, through our regular product update workshops conducted in various cities for the travel agents, we have been educating them about itineraries they could develop related to the World War I. Several travel agents have mentioned that this will be of interest to their clients, especially for the ones who look for cultural tours,” he added. Similarly Atout France (France Tourism Development Agency) too is drawing up plans to raise awareness in India about the World War I commemoration events.

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