The third MP Travel Mart was inaugurated by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan at Hotel Ashoka Lake View on Saturday. As many as 70 international buyers, including individuals and organisations, are participating in the event.
Several delegates and representatives of Indian Association of Tour Operators, Travel Agents Association of India, Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Association and Adventure Tour Operators Association and travel enthusiasts from across the world are attending the mart.
“There are visitors from Poland, Zimbabwe, Spain, South Africa, the UK and South-East Asia. This is the third edition of the mart and we observe that people and organisations working towards any kind of tourism are interested in knowing what Madhya Pradesh has to offer,” said Ritu Makhija, a PR professional.
The mart features 50 sellers from MP, and 175 domestic buyers are also participating in the event.
The mart features international brands such as Marriott, Lalit etc. It also has information kiosks by several private and state tourism jungle resorts.
Madhya Pradesh is well known abroad for its national parks.
“Over half of the enquiries that we get from foreign nationals are about wildlife. Recently, when the film on Mowgli was about to release, we had planned an itinerary of seven days in the national parks of Madhya Pradesh and that was a huge hit among foreigners,” said Manik Kaur of an international travel agency.
Manisha, a sale coordinator of Tiger Resorts, says, “Foreigners mainly come to explore the wildlife and greenery. Most of them prefer staying in jungle resorts. Most of them want to indulge in safaris and experience the real taste of wildlife, rather than staying in a far away hotel of an international repute and coming to national parks in the morning and leaving by the evening.”
Faiza, marketing head, Rare India said the trend of people staying in boutique hotel is on the rise in India, including in Madhya Pradesh.
Foreign nationals’ fondness for handloom products
The Madhya Pradesh Handloom kiosk sold products worth Rs 30,000 in less than two hours of the mart’s opening. The kiosk, when visited, was abuzz with delegates from Japan and Spain.
“The response is incredible. Foreign women enquiring about dupattas and buying them is a big surprise. They value and are very fond of Indian wear. Foreigners have got sarees and kurtas and even curtains with bagh prints from here,” says Manisha Jain, sales person, Madhya Pradesh Handloom and Handicrafts Corporation.