India Travel
India partner country at ITB Berlin tourism expo
Mar 1, 2007 - 9:44:36 AM

New Delhi, March 1 - Riding a 15 percent annual growth in arrivals over the last four years, India will be the partner country at ITB Berlin, the world's largest travel and trade show March 6-11 where it will showcase its rich cultural and scenic diversity that is a huge draw globally.

'As a partner state, ITB Berlin will provide the ideal platform for showcasing India's unique tourism products and promoting India as a preferred destination,' a tourism ministry official said.

'Significantly, it gives an opportunity - Incredible India - to be the focus of five-six million people for one week and reach out to the largest audience of travel industry representatives, decision makers, the media and potential travellers,' the official added.

'The world is turning towards India and India is open for business like never before. In such an environment, Incredible India is boldly and surely taking on the world,' the official maintained.

As the partner state, India will host the opening ceremony, during which a cultural programme will feature a unique fashion and audio visual presentation - 'The Tree of Life' - portraying the country's rich textile craft heritage in contemporary terms, while retaining its cultural ethos.

The show will be a spectacular visual journey across some of the most craft rich areas of India and will tell the historic story of its 16 million crafts persons who, till today, practise their art much as their ancestors did.

Presented by Ritu Kumar, one of India's foremost fashion designers, the presentation will highlight the influence of Indian design motifs on the world.

The dance extravaganza thereafter will include the Kathak and Mohiniattam dance forms, musicians from Rajasthan, folk dancers from Gujarat and Orissa, drummers from Manipur, exuberant and rhythmic dancers from Punjab, martial dance forms, acrobatic acts and a lot more.

Tourism Minister Ambika Soni will inaugurate the India pavilion on March 7.

Set up in an area of 870 square metres, it will see the participation of 20 state tourism departments, organisations like Air India, the Confederation of Indian Industry, and the India Tourism Development Corp, as also some 45 travel agents, tour operators, hotels and resorts.

The daily activities at the pavilion that will have 'Colours of India' as its theme will comprise cultural performances, live demonstration of Ayurveda and art and craft skills, application of henna, and distribution of brochures, posters, bindis, bangles and other promotional material.

A 100-strong cultural group from India will give a feel of Indian folk and traditional dance forms to the visitors.

This apart, graffiti splattered on the shuttle buses plying within the fair ground will further enhance the India ambience.

A host of seminars on subjects like business opportunities in India, trekking in the Himalayas, medical and wellness tourism, and scuba diving and river rafting will also be held on the occasion.

For 40 years, ITB Berlin has been a driving force in the worldwide travel industry, attracting high-ranking professionals with decision-making powers, and has shown a steady increase in the number of exhibitors and visitors year-on-year.

'As a principal destination for business travellers and tourists, India has established a firm place in world tourism. Due to the country's political stability, its strong economy and an increasingly favourable business and investment climate, the growth prospects for the country in tourism are substantial,' the tourism ministry official pointed out.

Proof of this is found in the fact that Conde Nast Traveller, the world's leading travel and tourism journal, has ranked India amongst the top four preferred holiday destinations of the world.

The website Lonely Planet has placed India amongst the top five destinations in a survey of 167 countries.

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