KARNATAKA

State team's successful trip to ITB

Bangalore March 29. After Kerala, it is Karnataka to make a mark among the European tourists.

The representation of the State in the International Tourism Borse (ITB), an international travel and trade fair, held at Berlin for the first time has got in two major changes. One is the possible inclusion in the packages of two major operators in Europe, the Tourist Union Internationale (TUI) and Kempinski. The second is the international recognition to Hampi as a tourist centre.

In fact, "Kempinski is now keen on even setting up a property near Hampi while the TUI would be including it as a part of its Goa itinerary,'' I.M.Vittalamurthy, Commissioner of Tourism, said here on Friday. He was speaking to presspersons about his recent trip to ITB.

Mr. Vittalamurthy headed the delegation that attended the ITB from March 16 to 20. He said any further development would depend on their "Familiarisation Tour" to be conducted in September. The reason for the success so far, according to him, was that the State had been properly represented for the first time in 30 years at ITB. Everything from setting up stalls to arranging meetings with the German media and the trade institutions had been planned in a short span. Even the logo, "Theatre of Inspiration'', drew plaudits at the fair.

It is said that the State had rarely gone beyond Bangalore and Mysore on the tourism circuit. Mr. Vittalamurthy said that most tourists found it impossible to explore the State because of bad roads, lack of accommodation, and the difficulty in getting to taste the typical cuisine of the State.

The State Government would see to it that roads to Hampi were well laid before September, he added.

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