Sometimes doors open themselves.  From November 20-21, 2012, I was in Kunming, China to attend an inter-governmental meeting with an active business forum at which I was asked to speak on tea tourism.

Realizing the potential of 2.5 billion people sitting on either side of the Himalayas, not knowing each other for a long time, but very inquisitive about each other’s culture and very appreciative of each other’s efforts in nation-building, I emphasized in my presentation that if these people’s interest in tea tourism could be tapped, tea tourism could become one of the biggest movements on planet earth.

This is particularly likely given the fact that 2.5 billion kilos of tea are produced annually in these two nations with almost the same consumption.  In addition, every tea entity – whether private or governmental – is eager to know about each other’s tea industry.

To swiftly and effectively fulfill the tea tourism dream, various parties must be mobilized.  Thankfully, this mobilization is already underway.  The CCPIT – China Council for Promotion of International Trade – has already established the very large Luosiwan Trade Centre in Kunming, which offers venues and amenities to host events that promote tea tourism.

The YDRC – Yunnan Development Research Centre – in Kunming and the CSIRD – Centre for Studies in International Relations and Development –  in Kolkata have formed a think tank called K2K – Kolkata to Kunming – which is generating ideas to facilitate the growth of tea tourism.

Let us hope for the best.  Krisnan Srinivasan, ex-Foreign Secretary of India, led this delegation and we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on this matter.