A horde of travel agents and tour operators, keen on knowing more about India, attended the “Know India Better” event held at the Grace Hotel in Sydney on 24 May evening.This was the final of a series of sessions that was launched last year as a joint strategic initiative of India Tourism Sydney and Australia India Travel & Tourism Council (AITTC), aimed to educate the the industry with updated travel information on India covering flights, hotels, infrastructure developments, visa, tours and safety awareness. According to Sandip Hor, Chairman AITTC, this project has immensely aided the industry allowing agents and tour operators to excite potential travellers on India. “Australia has moved from ninth to the seventh position in the list of foreign tourists arriving India”, said Kanchan Kurkeja, Acting Director India Tourism Sydney.
As expected , the evening was packed with information about India.Attendess heard about this exotic destination from various presentors – India Tourism, Intrepid Travel and Air India and on India’s various touristy drawcards , including some of the economic and technological developments. Madhu Mathen, Manager Air India emphasised how the direct flights between Sydney/ Melbourne and Delhi are contributing to the growth in bilateral travel.
B Vanlalvawna, Consul General of India in Sydney in his welcoming address outlined importance of tourism as an excellent link for enhancing bilateral relationship between India and Australia. He mentioned about the Indian Festival to be held in five major Australian cities in Sep/Oct this year to showcase Indian art and culture amomg Australians.
Award winning travel writer Catherine Marshall and former politician and long distance runner Pat Farmer enlightented the audience with their recent experieces of travelling in India. While Kanchan Kurkeja in her presentation engaged the audience through various showstopping scenes of India, Sandip Hor expressed thoughts of initiating similar program in India to update market with more information on Australia, AITTC objective being to promote bilateral tourism.
Air India, Accor Hotels, Intrepid Travel, Insight Vacations,Far Horizon, Taj Hotels, Grace Hotel, Special Holidays Travel all contributed to the excellent lucky door prizes. In memory of late travel writer Tom King, who visted India 26 times, his wife Kamala King presented a photo collection on India to India Tourism. Phillip Boniface, Co Chairman AITTC gave the vote of thanks while Shankar Dhar as MC for the evening kept the audience engaged. Shruti Jagdale mesmerised all with her classical and Bollywood dance performances.
Overall it was a great team effort by India Tourism and AITTC Executive Board to make the evening a grand success.