‘Emerging’ tourist destinations vie for attention at IITM

Visitors in one of the stalls at the India International Travel Mart 2018, at Palace Grounds on Friday.   | Photo Credit: V Sreenivasa Murthy

Emerging tourist destinations vied for those bitten by the wanderlust with the well-established ones at the 106th edition of the ‘India International Travel Mart’ (IITM), which opened in Bengaluru on Friday.

States such as Jharkhand and Telangana have set up stalls providing different kinds of packages that not only highlight their natural beauty through adventure, eco and wildlife tourism, but also their culture and heritage by promoting newer forms of tourism such as rural, spiritual, heritage and religious tourism.

A Telangana Tourism official said the new State is trying to diversify its tourism sector. “The State is currently drawing a large number of international tourists due to its capital city, Hyderabad, organising various international events. Currently, we are promoting Bathukamma, a floral festival celebrated by women in Telangana.”

“Jharkhand is promoting its natural bounty — such as Dassam falls and Jonha falls — by popularising ‘tent’ tourism in the State,” said Alok Prasad, General Manager, Jharkhand Tourism Development Corporation.

Karnataka Tourism Minister S.R. Mahesh, who inaugurated the event, said the State was not promoting its tourism assets as much as the other States, and this had to improve. As for the State’s luxury train The Golden Chariot, he said it had made a ₹12 lakh profit last year, a turnaround from its loss-making days. He also added that the interiors of the train will be changed.

Organised by Sphere Travelmedia and Exhibitions, the three-day event, which is being held at the Bangalore Palace, Vasanth Nagar, is touted to have over 450 participants from 15 countries and 20 Indian States. It features a variety of destinations for various genres of tourism, such as adventure, beaches, culture and heritage, pilgrimage and more.

With Karnataka as the host, partnering with other States in the country, the event has more than 200 hotels and resorts from all over India assuring display of the most diverse range of products, packages and services.

Ramayana tour to Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, the partner country at the IITM this year, is set to offer a spiritual and in-depth knowledge of the Ramayana heritage. It will provide an opportunity to follow the Ramayana trail and visit the most important Ramayana sites in Sri Lanka. The official website of the ‘Ramayana Yatra’ will be launched by the Sri Lankan Tourism Promotion Bureau at the IITM on Saturday.

“Sri Lanka has more than 50 Ramayana sites from the place of Seetha Devi's captivity to the battlefields of war where Lord Rama slew Ravana, the 10-headed demon-king,” said officials, adding that a full-fledged advertising campaign will be executed in India in the first quarter of 2019 targeting Ramayana devotees.

Officials said important parts of the epic were based in Sri Lanka, and names of the places are still unchanged, including Sita Kotuwa, Gurulupotha, Nagadeepa, Sita Pokuna, Sita Amman Temple, Kataragama and Kelaniya.

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Printable version | Oct 31, 2020 4:50:54 AM |

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