TravTalk - India
Building trade relationships
The Eastern Himalaya Travel and Tour Operators Association recently organised the largest B2B travel mart in East and North-eastern India - Bengal Travel Mart. The 6th edition of BTM provided a platform for trade stakeholders to establish connections, besides giving an overview of Northeast’s untapped potential.
The sole purpose of BTM 2022, organised from 5 to 7 March at Mayfair Tea Resort, Siliguri, West Bengal, was to establish Siliguri as a B2B platform for the Eastern Himalayas’ domestic market. The market available at Siliguri comprises the host city, along with the Seven Sister states namely Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland & Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. The organisers included Bangladesh and Nepal in the mart to expand the circuit.
Odisha Tourism initiatives
Rina Mohapatra, Additional Secretary, Department of Tourism, Government of Odisha, spoke on the occasion about the initiatives taken in Odisha to revive tourism. “Pandemic has given a big blow to the entire tourism industry. Odisha tourism with new initiatives has fortunately been able to recover from the effects of the pandemic,” she said.
Odisha Tourism has decided to organise 'Eco Retreat Odisha' at multiple tourist destinations in the state. The state tourism department introduced glamping, a unique experience of glamorous camping in luxury cottages, delectable cuisine, spa, adventure and water sports activities, nature trails and wholesome day itineraries and cultural evenings.
Bhubaneswar, Konark and Puri make up the golden triangle, which is popular among domestic tourists. The state is working to develop the places and promote spiritual tourism. “We are working on revamping Puri and the Lingraj temple in Bhubaneswar. We are also planning to organise a bird festival at Chilika Lake for promoting wildlife tourism. As part of eco-tourism initiative, we have more than 50 eco-tourism resorts in collaboration with the forest department of Odisha,” she added.
Hemant Agarwal, Convener, BTM, said, "This is the sixth edition of Bengal Travel Mart. We have found throughout these six years that people are interested in learning about these locations, they want to experience these locations first-hand before they tell others about them. That is what we are attempting to facilitate over these 6 years.”
Northeast has a lot of potential. Agarwal urged the authorities to assist the Northeast in harnessing its potential and to improve its infrastructure. “Tourists typically visit Darjeeling and Gangtok when visiting the Northeast, but there are plenty of destinations that remain unexplored due to lack of infrastructure. Therefore, we urge the government to work towards developing the infrastructure there. Let us work together in a manner that the region as a whole flourish,” he added.
MICE in Northeast
Speaking of potential of MICE in Northeast, Sandipan Ghosh,
General Secretary, EHTTOA, said, “MICE is a very important segment in the Northeast at the moment because MICE travel to Northeast is cheaper in comparison to international travel. Northeast combines leisure and business at a lower price than other destinations.
Odisha tourism with new initiatives has fortunately been able to recover from effects of the pandemic MICE is a very important segment in the Northeast at the moment because MICE travel to Northeast is cheaper While visiting Northeast, tourists visit Darjeeling and Gangtok, but there are plenty of unexplored destinations