Bengaluru decks up to host international travel mart

Bengaluru, Sep 5 (IANS) About 1,800 delegates, including 1,000 from 60 countries, are arriving here to participate in the three-day international travel mart here from Sunday.

Winning the bid to host the 38th edition of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), the Karnataka government has decked up the city to showcase and promote the scenic state as a favourite destination for international tourists and leisure travellers.

“Bengaluru is the third city after Hyderabad (2011) and Delhi (2001) hosting the prestigious international travel mart to attract more overseas and domestic tourists to India and Karnataka, endowed with rich heritage, flora and fauna,” Tourism Minister R.V. Deshpande told reporters on Saturday.

As the premier travel trade show in the Asia-Pacific region, PATA attracts a niche international audience by showcasing and promoting varied tourist destinations and products of countries in the region on a single platform.

“Travel agents and tour operators from the world over are participating in the event to promote India and Karnataka as a preferred destination to global trotters and holiday goers and increase tourist footfalls into the southern state,” said Deshpande.

Organised by the state tourism department in association with the central tourism ministry, the mart is holding an investment forum where Karnataka and other states will showcase their tourist hot spots and tourism merchandise to woo more visitors.

“The first-time forum will focus on how key market players are redefining their business models to not only attract more tourists, but also make them visit India regularly as popular destination,” a state tourism official told IANS.

Ahead of the grand event at the Bengaluru International Exhibition Centre (BIEC), the minister directed civic officials to ensure areas below flyovers and vacant sites are clean for providing a green experience of the city.

About 350 stalls from stakeholders, including tourist operators, travel agents, and tourism departments of various states across the country and the hospitality sector comprising hotels, resorts, restaurants and home stays will showcase their products and services.

City police have made elaborate security arrangements for the event.

The international delegates will travel by the luxury express Golden Chariot on Monday and visit Mysuru and Kabini dam on the following days.

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