Staff Reporter

“Large number of tourists throng the Travel and Tourism Fair”

KOLKATA: Notwithstanding the threat perception in the wake of the recent serial blasts in some metro cities, domestic tourists still evince keen interest on tourism and travel around the country.

This was stated by representatives of tourism corporations from various States at the 64th Travel and Tourism Fair (TTF) that was inaugurated here on Saturday.

Assam, Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh were some of the States, which pitched in for aggressive marketing of their tourist spots at the Fair, which is billed as the largest in the country. The number of people milling the Fair, shopping for tourist destinations, pointed to the fact that they did not feel threatened by the recent serial bomb blasts.

Even international players were not left behind. Apart from the usual participants like Singapore, Malaysia and Dubai, countries like Indonesia, Nepal and Sri Lanka too tried to pursue tourists by allaying fears of Indian tourists about the countries’ internal terror quotient.

“We get a lot of Indian businessmen visiting Indonesia. We want it to get extended to tourists also,” said Orysa Rizky, representative of the Jakarta City Government Tourism Office. An official of the Nepal Tourism said that in spite of the political instability and subsequent disruptions, Indian tourists have continued flocking to the country.

“Not a single city can be found in India which is free from terrorism threat, so there is no reason why certain States and cities should be avoided only,” said P. Jeevan Prasad, divisional manager of Andhra Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Limited.

Representatives from Uttarakhand and Sikkim Tourism Corporations said that they have witnessed a spur in bookings in the last two months, following the turmoil in Darjeeling and its adjoining areas.

West Bengal Tourism Minister Manab Mukherjee, who inaugurated the Fair, however was confident that tourists would again be able to visit the ‘queen of the hill station’ and there was nothing much to worry about.

An official of the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation said, “we are focussing on promoting the Sundarbans as a major tourist destination to both domestic and foreign travellers.”