A three-day Travel and Tourism Exhibition by Holiday Expo was inaugurated at Suguna Kalyana Mandapam here on Friday by Kamalesh Patel of Gujarat Tourism.

Rohit Hengel, Director of Sphere Travelmedia and Exhibition, said that the objective of the exhibition was to bring the public wanting to travel for holidays and the tourism and travel industry under one roof to enable them to have first-hand information on destinations, packages and offers.

Tourists flow

Mr. Rohit said owing to economic recession and slowdown, India had witnessed a slump by four to five per cent in the tourist inflow, whereas tourists flow from India towards overseas destinations had grown by 10 per cent.

A chunk of this percentage had largely come from tier II and tier III cities. Agricultural income without taxes could have been one of the reasons for the spurt in the tourism growth.

Surging competition in metro cities had shifted the focus of the industry to the prospective tier II and III cities.

A similar exhibition was conducted in Vadodara and soon it would be held in Surat.

In Tamil Nadu, the exhibition could soon be held in Madurai or Tiruchi.

Fifteen States were taking part in the expo, including seven State tourism boards, he said.

Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh are partner States, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Puducherry are the feature States for the event and Meghalaya and Goa will be an added attraction.

Of the 75 participants, 10 companies are dealing with overseas travel packages.

Gujarat Tourism has a troupe performing cultural events every half-an-hour showcasing the rich cultural heritage of the State.

Lucky draws

In addition, the participants have lucky draws offering holidays and discounts.

Mr. Rohit said while there could be enough business for the participants, the interest generated now could turn out to be a prospective business, since this was the right time to plan the summer vacations.

The exhibitors’ profile included national tourism organisations, tourism promotion boards, destination management organisations, airlines, charters, railways, passenger transporters, car rentals, shipping, cruise liners, travel agents, tour operators, holiday packages, holiday financers, technology providers, hotel reservation networks, hotels, resorts, wildlife resorts, health spas, Ayurvedic centre’s time-share resorts, eco clubs, adventure sports and education institutions in the field of hospitality and tourist studies.

Entry to the exhibition is free.