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WTM: Special Report on Indian States

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Bihu dance team at WTM

From the ‘Land of Salvation’ to the ‘Switzerland of India’….Globe trotters were urged to visit the most beautiful yet underrated parts of Incredible India….A special report by Anilesh Kumar

Bihu dance team at WTM

The second day at mega tourism event WTM saw Indian representatives satisfied with the response of the people. From ministers of different states to tour operators everyone had a worthy day networking. Sikkim, which is one of the most beautiful states in India has also participated in the global promotional event.

Bandana Chettri, Deputy Secretary of Tourism and Civil Aviation Sikkim is a key member of the delegation visiting London. Throughout the day she would be describing the ‘astonishing beauty’ of the state to every visitor at their stall.

‘People talk about how amazing Switzerland is..I think if they come to Sikkim they will find that it’s no less than the European country,’ she said. Adding to it she also talks about cleanliness of the state. ‘People have a certain perception about Indian states or cities when it comes to their maintenance, very proudly I can tell you that our capital (Gangtok) has been awarded as the cleanest city in India.’

In 2016, the total number of tourists to Sikkim were nearly double the size of state’s entire population. In the recent years the state has seen a surge in the number of people finding peace in the lap of the clean and green state. However some believe that the North- East of India has so much hidden to be brought to the lime light. ‘I think the kind of potential for tourism that these (North-Eastern) states have is yet to be capitalized,’ said Sunita Koch, director of Wild Rhino Adventures. Elina Satapathy of 7seven sister holidays is more optimistic seeing the number of people heading towards North-East for leisure. She said, ‘Its true that up until recently the region was not at the heart of Indian tourism promotion but things are changing now and platforms like WTM only boost the growth of the sector.’

Bihar Tourism Minister, Pankaj Kumar has an interesting logic for wooing tourists. Bihar, which has a glorious history is one of the fastest growing states in India. The minister calls his state the ‘land of salvation’ and invites people from all over the globe for a spiritual trip. He said, ‘Bihar is the Land of Lord Mahavira, Lord Buddha, Guru Nanak, Sufi Saints, Yoga. We are the first republic of the world. We have so much more to offer than just sightseeing. You may find a lovely place to visit anywhere but our state is the one that might enhance your own inner beauty.’

The World Travel Market will see its last day this year on 8 November. With two days of buzzing people on stalls the participants are looking for a bumper Wednesday to seal the deals.

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