Jaipur: Suman Billa IAS, Joint Secretary, India Tourism inaugurated the 11th edition of The Great Indian Travel Bazaar (GITB) 2019 in Jaipur. D B Gupta IAS, Chief Secretary, Government of Rajasthan and Sreya Guha IAS, Principal Secretary – Tourism, Art & Culture were also present. The first day of the event had 5600 pre-scheduled meetings between major inbound foreign buyers and 300 exhibitors from the hospitality and travel trade. In all, there will be over 11,000 structured meetings at GITB 2019 over the two days. As many as 10 States apart from the host State of Rajasthan are participating this year; Gujarat, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Odisha, Goa, Punjab and Chandigarh.

Dr. Jyotsna Suri, Past President, FICCI; Chairperson, FICCI Tourism Committee & CMD, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group said that a total of 291 foreign trade operators (FTOs) from 47 countries and 260 Indian exhibitors with 300 booths are participating in the event. Dr. Suri said, “GITB 2019 will witness 11,236 pre-scheduled, structured B2B meetings in the next two days.”

D B Gupta IAS said that tourism infrastructure will get high priority in Rajasthan. “In 2018-2019, as many as 83 development works related to tourism infrastructure have been undertaken. The Union Ministry of Tourism has provided a support of Rs. 448 crores for various tourism products. The Chief Secretary also said that the tourism sector is a great generator of employment as a smokeless industry. It empowers people at the grass root level and provides employment in rural areas and generates more jobs for women.” He also said that State Government and FICCI have already signed an MoU for GITB to be held in Jaipur till the year 2024. He also announced that GITB 2020 will be held on April 19, 20 and 21.

Sreya Guha IAS said that the tourism industry has witnessed a record growth of 9.4 per cent in domestic arrivals and 8.97 per cent in international arrivals in 2018. “The State Government is currently focused on creating an all-inclusive digital database for the State. This will provide a seamless experience to the traveller,” Guha said. Aashima Mehrotra, Director, Tourism, Government of India said that the Ministry is endeavoring to provide the global tourist these new experiences. “This will make India the preferred tourism destination of the world. Incredible India’s new website has been made more user-friendly and interactive for the ease of the tourists,” said Mehrotra.

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