Kolkata, July 15 (IBNS): The 96th edition of India’s biggest travel & tourism fair, TTF, organized by Fairfest Media Ltd, concluded Sunday at the Netaji Indoor Stadium with a record turnout of more than 20,000 visitors.
Most of the participating states in the TTF Kolkata made aggressive pitches for the tourists of eastern India with gorgeous displays showcasing their key attractions.
Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Bangladesh organized marketing & cultural presentations to interact with the travel trade and media.
Gujarat, one of the most favoured tourist destinations in India, promoted tourism as an important part of their service sector.
Sanjay Kaul, Managing Director, Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited said that the state spent Rs 90 crore last year to develop infrastructure, the priority being roads, accommodation and renovation of heritage sites.
He further announced that this year Chief Minister Narendra Modi Government has requested the Planning Commission to grant Rs 1,200 crore to develop coastal tourism.
Kaul emphasized the importance of tourism development around the Gandhi circuit.
After Amitabh Bachchan became Gujarat’s brand ambassador for tourism, the number of tourists to Gujarat has increased by 54 lakh. Kaul also outlined plans to attract tourists of South Asia and Japan to various Buddhist religious destinations of Gujarat.
Another attractive tourist destination Andhra Pradesh, unveiled special packages for Bengali tourists.
Chandana Khan, Special Chief Secretary, Tourism, Government of Andhra Pradesh said Durga Puja festival will be organized at key tourist destinations of Andhra Pradesh to give the Bengali tourists a feel of Bengal while touring Andhra during the festive season.
She also released a calendar of festivals of Andhra Pradesh to attract tourists in carnivals which will also help promote local culture.
“The amenity centers have motels, restaurants and interpretation centers, where help can be hired to bridge the language barrier,” she added.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal who came all the way to Kolkata to promote his state said the government would develop a proposed airport with the help of private investment.
He also invited the private entrepreneurs to invest in building tourism infrastructure of the state.
Sudripta Roy, Chief Secretary, Tourism, Government of Himachal Pradesh expressed his vision to make Himachal an ideal shooting location for Bollywood and also the most accessible tourist destination of North India.
Himachal Pradesh also organized a food festival during the three-day fair to give the people of Kolkata an authentic taste of Himachali food.
Chhattisgarh Tourism Board is also spending huge amounts to develop accommodation and other infrastructure.
Chhattisgarh Tourism is offering special discounts in TTF to attract tourists to their state.
P. Sen Bhowmick, General Manager, Chhattisgarh Tourism Board assured proper security arrangements for the tourists in Maoist affected areas.
Bangladesh Tourism Board returned to TTF Kolkata after a gap of one year. Tour Operators Association of Bangladesh (TOAB) is promoting tourism of Bangladesh with a balanced focus on both inbound and outbound markets.
They are primarily promoting Sylhet, Chittagong, Cox Bazaar and Sundarban as their most important tourist destinations.
According to Sanjiv Agarwal, Chairman & CEO, Fairfest Media, organizers of TTF, “Platforms such as the TTF act as booster shots for the travel & tourism industry at a time when business sentiments and overall outlook are depressed, reflecting the global economic slowdown”.
After its grand success in Kolkata, TTF will now travel to Hyderabad next week (20 – 22 July), followed by Ahmedabad (24 – 26 August), Surat (31 August – 2 September), Mumbai (7 – 9 September) and finally ending this season by introducing a new location Pune (14 – 16 September), thus completing the largest network of travel marts in India for 2012.
Since 1989, TTF has provided an annual opportunity for organisations from India and abroad to showcase their products and services to a large cross section of the travel trade and consumers across major markets in India. India’s biggest travel show boasts of a committed visitorship of travel trade members, corporate and business travel decision makers, as well as leisure and holiday travellers.
TTF is supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, as well as travel industry bodies like Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI), OTOAI (Outbound Tour Operators Association of India), and Indian Association of Tour Operators ( IATO).