Three-day event is considered one of the major travel marts in tourism industry and showcases destinations in Bengal and adjoining areas
Bireswar Banerjee, Siliguri: The seventh edition of the Bengal Travel Mart (BTM) will begin in Siliguri on Saturday with a focus on “cross-border” tourism that will seek to exploit the potential of neighbouring countries of Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
The three-day event is considered one of the major travel marts in the tourism industry and showcases destinations in Bengal and adjoining areas. The event will be hosted by the Eastern Himalaya Travel & Tour Operators Association (EHTTOA) at Montana Vista, on the outskirts of the city.
Sandipan Ghosh, the general secretary of the EHTTOA, said one of the major objectives of the BTM was to promote tourism activities in north Bengal and the Northeast.
“This time, we will also underscore the prospects of cross-border tourism as our region is contiguous to Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. As the BTM has been planned ahead of Durga Puja and Divali holidays, we are expecting a considerable turnout of tourists in the region in coming months,” Ghosh said on Friday.
The EHTTOA, he said, has around 350 members associated with tourism. The association has been organising the event since 2016.
Officials from the Calcutta regional office of the Union tourism ministry, the tourism departments of Bengal, Tripura, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Odisha and the Nepal Tourism Board will take part in the BTM.
The EHTTOA members said the mart would provide a common platform to tourism stakeholders who represent different parts of India and some neighbouring countries. “We will have around 50 foreign delegates at the event,” said Ghosh.
The event will have B2B (business-to-business meets), technical sessions and discussions for the improvement of the tourism sector in north Bengal.
“We are giving impetus to rural tourism, tea tourism and adventure tourism as north Bengal and Sikkim have huge potential to draw visitors to villages and tea gardens. Adventure sports lovers can explore various options here. The idea is to apprise stakeholders of the industry who will reach here from different parts of India and the neighbouring countries of our region so that they encourage tourists to visit those places,” said Debasish Chakraborty, a senior member of the association.