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India tours South-east Asia with cultural showcase
Shekhar Niyogi, Kolkata, February 10, 2014

INDIA'S Ministry of Culture is holding a string of festivals in South-east Asia to give potential travellers a taste of Indian culture and whet their appetites.


A delegation of 75 artistes will showcase India through food, art, dance, film, a Buddhist exhibition and yoga in Laos (February 9 to 11), Cambodia (February 14 to 19), Vietnam (March 6 to 15) and Myanmar (March 17 to 21).


Sources from the Ministry of Tourism said the festivals would focus on lesser-known destinations including Odisha, Gujarat, West Bengal, Puducherry, Kashmir and Karnataka.


Amaresh Tiwari, managing director of AT Seasons and Vacations Travel, called the move a “constructive” one as it would “enthuse” more tourists from South-east Asia to visit.


Meanwhile Harihar Patra, director-marketing of Odisha-based Toshali Resorts International, said: “With international flights being introduced from South-east Asia to Bhubaneswar (TTG Asia e-Daily, January 27, 2014), it is time that the (state’s tourism offerings) are showcased to elicit the interest of travellers from shorthaul destinations.”


Debjit Dutta, director, Impression Tourism Services, said travel agencies could bank on newfound familiarity with India to build interesting itineraries beyond the Golden Triangle and Goa. “There is so much more India has to offer, but unless you know it, why would you go there?”


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