The Government of Karnataka, Department of Tourism, and Karnataka Tourism Society Skål Club, along with the Karnataka Golf Association, and Taj and Murya hotels – the Hospitality Partners for the event, played host to the inaugural edition of the Karnataka International Travel Expo (KITE) held in Bangalore city in India.
This new event adds to the 39 travel trade fairs conducted on an annual base in the 29 States of India. KITE’s frequency is scheduled bi-annually.
KITE’s first-ever event was inaugurated by Sri BS Yediyrappa, Chief Minister of Karnataka, and the presence of Ms. Aashima Meherota, Director of India Tourism Central Government in New Delhi. Ms. Meherota stated: “Tourism contributes 14.8% towards the state GDP and supports over 16 million jobs. [total population of 64.06 million as of 2014]. We are supporting the efforts of the Tourism Department to globally market the state [which] has an immense potential to become a world-class destination. KITE 2019 aims to be a globalized one-stop sourcing platform and is a vital networking platform for stakeholders within our tourism industry to effectively reach out to the global travel market.”
During the 3-day event, over 10,000 pre-matched appointments brought together international hosted buyers and the over 100 Indian sellers showcasing the best of Karnataka with an existing portfolio of globally-acclaimed tourism products with World Heritage sites, pristine beaches, pilgrimages, festivals, adventure and wildlife, as well as conferences and meetings.
Twenty-five “boutique boots” (out of the over 100 ) each displayed tourism circuits showcased in a refined style some of the local products: silk, coffee beans, honey, handicrafts, cuisine, art, craft, cultural handlooms, and more. And the most precious – the famed Mysuru silk, Dharward Kasuti (saree), rosewood inlay, sandalwood articles, ganjifa paintings, mirror embroidery, spices, bird ware, honey, and wine to name a few.
“The chief goal of the expo,” said T.K. Anil Kumar, Secretary of Tourism, “is to increase the overall size of the tourism sector in Karnataka. This task will be assigned to the winner of selected international professionals who can produce a plan suggesting new strategies to enhance the importance of Karnataka as an ideal destination and get a first-hand exposure to its various tourism products.”
T.K. Kumar, Secretary-Tourism; Mr. Kumar Pushcar, MD-KSTDC; Mr. K. Shyamaraju, President, Karnataka Tourism Society, all expressed in turn their views on the future success of the destination, which due to its diverse range of products, is fast emerging as one of the most interesting and productive Indian states for the travel trade both for leisure and business travel.
Karnataka: One State – Many Worlds
The pride of the state is the well-organized modern city of “Bangalore”- a magnet for business, congress, conferences, conventions, and leisure travel due to its first-class structures and amenities which include museums, markets, and comfortable viability.
Over the years, Bangalore has become the epitome of high living. The racy lifestyle of this fast-growing city has made available just about everything in terms of opulence. With the national and international brands, shopping malls, and a high-class golf club, Bangalore has created a destination in a league of its own. The destination has gained the appellation of “Garden City,” “Pensioners’ Paradise,” and most recently, “the Silicon Valley of India.”
Apart from holistic and other treatments, Bangalore, although maintaining its original and amusing folklore, has come to be known as the destination for healing with its top-notch hospitals and wellness centers, along with Mysuru city, an established destination when it comes to yoga, with reputed centers and guests.
World Heritage Sites
Pre- and post-event 5-day fam tours offered to hosted buyers and the media showcased the city’s major heritage, archeology, and religious destinations of Karnataka such as Hampi, Coorg and Kabini, Mysore, Chicamagalur, Badami and Pattadkal, along with wildlife, adventure tourism, and ecotourism.