Tourism is an important area of cooperation amongst BRICS countries. Cooperation in tourism increases people to people exchanges amongst the BRICS countries which leads to friendship, fraternity and enhances better understanding of each other’s culture and heritage.
In the 2012 BRICS Delhi Declaration and Action plan identified Tourism as strategic sector for expansion of communication, exchange programmes and people-to-people contacts among BRICS countries. The first Meeting of BRICS Ministers' of Tourism of the countries was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil on 19th March, 2013.
Recognising the potential of Tourism to contribute towards sustainable and socio-economic development, the 2013 BRICS eThekwini Declaration and Action Plan mentioned Tourism as one of the new areas of cooperation to be explored by the BRICS countries. This was also reiterated in the Xiamen Declaration in 2017.
India, during its BRICS Chairship in 2016, organised the BRICS Tourism Convention in Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh, as an effective means to promote tourism cooperation among BRICS countries.
In November 2018, South Africa, the leaders welcomed the initiative to establish a BRICS Working Group on Tourism in Johannesburg Declaration to foster greater cooperation between the BRICS countries and increase economic development and people-to-people relations.
In March 2020, Russia, BRICS countries discussed the creation of a Working Group for interaction on tourism issues between BRICS countries. During the meeting, the countries representatives exchanged views on the current situation of the tourism sector and ways to overcome the negative consequences posed by COVID-19 to the sector.
In the recent BRICS Tourism Ministers’ meeting hosted virtually by Russia in October 2020, India’s delegation highlighted on how digitalisation and innovation will facilitate the development of tourism and hospitality sector.