|'Exciting' Gujarat gaining popularity with international travellers.|
It was described by one Australian tour operator at India’s biggest ever-inbound travel event, the Gujarat Travel Mart (GTM), as the ‘final frontier’ for tourism in India. But despite this, or perhaps because of it, the Indian state of Gujarat is gaining popularity with tourists.
In fact, where tourism numbers to India as a whole have fallen in recent times, (25 percent in the last three months according to The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India), visitor numbers to Gujarat have grown – in 2012, the state welcomed 16 percent more visitors than it did the year before, which was double the national average.
Speaking to e-Travel Blackboard at GTM, The Trekking Company’s Mohan Pradhan said the state presented a compelling proposition for visitors.
“Despite the chaos, I think it’s an exciting destination,” Canberra, Australia based Pradhan said, adding that he’d “definitely be back again on my own”.
“What people are looking for are new destinations away from the crowds – that’s what Gujarat has to offer.”
With some of his clients having been on “more than 24 trips” with him, Mr Pradhan said it was imperative to offer something off the the usual beaten paths.
“Gujarat is not Singapore. My customers don’t like Singapore,” he explained.
The main source markets for international visitors to the state, described by Gujarat chief minister Shri Narendra Modi in his keynote address at the event as the ‘Land of Gandhi’, are the UK, US, Australia, France and Germany.
e-Travel Blackboard joined the record number of buyers attending GTM in Gujarat. Read more from the event here.