Taj Mahal temple, a popular destination in India (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) –
Indonesia aims to welcome 700,000 tourists from India in 2018 amid a significant increase in tourist traffic between the two countries in the last few years.

Business Standard, a leading business site of India, quoted Indonesian Ambassador to India Sidharto R. Suryodipuro as citing that the number of Indian tourists to Indonesia in 2017 was close to half a million people while the number of people travelling to India from the Southeast Asian country was about 40,000.

Claiming the diplomatic relationship between the two nations at present to be "the closest in the last 70 years", the diplomat said the leaders of both countries are looking to enhance people-to-people connectivity through tourism.

"When Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Jakarta, they discussed about expanding air travel between the two nations,” he said.

Tourism is the easiest way to establish links between the two peoples, he added.

The development of bilateral trade also needs direct connectivity as small-and medium-sized enterprises would look for convenient way of travel in terms of cost and time, he said. -VNA