Tourism boards and travel companies from seven countries and 15 Indian States are showcasing a variety of travel destinations and tourism packages at the 48th India International Travel Mart - 2010 that was inaugurated at Chennai Trade Centre here on Friday.

The participants at the three-day exhibition include travel agents, tour operators, hotels and resorts, cruises, airlines, travel magazines and various online travel portals.

Tourism companies from Dubai, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Thailand, Mauritius, Maldives and Switzerland and tourism boards of States, including Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Rajasathan, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have stalls promoting tourism packages, products and services, said Rohit Hangal, Director, Sphere Travel Media, organisers of the event. The exhibition is expected to attract around 15,000 visitors, he added.

“We have a showcased a whole range of tourist spots that include places of pilgrimage, culture, heritage, adventure, beach and hill resorts and most packages carry significant discounts,” he said.

Once seen as a conservative market, tourism in Tamil Nadu, he said, has increased by ten-fold over the years. The State now attracts the third highest number of tourists in the country.

“Even lesser known places like Erode and Tirupur are slowly becoming favourable tourist destinations,” he added.

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