One State many Worlds – and what better way is there to describe the cultural kaleidoscope that is Karnataka.
Karnataka ranks in India’s top ten largest states and is a prominent state in Southern part of the country.
With its infinite tourism possibilities stemming from its glorious landscapes, mountains, beaches, forests, heritage, culture, cuisine and other elements to lure the tourist, Karnataka definitely has something to excite the senses of every visitor that steps on her soil.
The Karnataka International Travel Expo KITE2019, was her initial foray into showcasing her treasures to a global audience and was held from Aug 25th-27th, 2019 at the Lalit Ashok in Bengaluru, the capital of the state.
Come visit her and let her myriad hues color your life.
KITE2019 – A brief summary.
About KITE –
KITE has been designed as a B2B platform which will host buyers from several countries across the world, who will be charmed by the exciting prospect of discovering what the state has to offer, leading them to explore business opportunities in the realm of travel and tourism. This is a 3 day event and will be conducted biennially. The event will aim at propelling Karnataka onto the global traveller’s map.
About KITE2019 –
KITE2019 was organized by Karnataka Tourism, with event partner Sphere Travelmedia and Exhibitions Pvt Ltd.
KITE2019 which was the inaugural edition, saw over 400 Hosted Buyers from nearly 30 countries. Over 10,000 pre set appointments brought together international and national buyers with sellers who displayed a range of products right from home stays to luxury properties, showcasing the best of what Karnataka had to offer.
The event was well structured, right from the counters for registration and assistance.
Over a 100 stalls represented various destinations and products of Karnataka spanning across 15 tourism segments like heritage sites, wildlife, nature, festivals etc as well as business hotels and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, Exhibitions). These were distributed in a structured manner across 3 halls.
The event began on the evening of Day 1, with a short and sweet orientation session. Shri T K Anil Kumar, Secretary Tourism, Govt of Karnataka (GOK), welcomed the guests and extolled the virtues of Karnataka through a succinct speech backed by a short video presentation.
This glimpse of the state was an appetizer to whet the interests of those present, an appetite that was temporarily satiated by the grand themed dinner served by the poolside on the lush lawns of the Lalit Ashok.
Day 2 was the formal inauguration of the stalls by the Chief minister BS Yediyurappa who said that tourism in Karnataka supports over 16 million jobs and that the government was in full support of the tourism department to assist them in placing the state in global view. Dr. Sudha Murthy, Chair-Person of the Task Force on Tourism and Shri Vijay Bhaskar, Chief Secretary of the Govt. of Karnataka were the guests of honor.
The stalls were then opened for interviews with potential buyers.
There was also a Press conference and media interaction after the inaugural ceremony, where the stalwarts of the Tourism departments gave a short presentation on what the event hoped to achieve. This was attended by Shri T K Anil Kumar, Secretary Tourism, GOK, Shri Kumar Pushkar, MD, KSTDC, Shri K Shyamaraju, President Karnataka Tourism Society, Shri Vijay Bhaskar, Chief Secretary of the Govt. of Karnataka etc. Questions were also received from the media.
City Tours –
In addition the the goings on at the stalls, the media and buyers were also treated to city tours on Day 2 and 3.
The first tour was to Banerghatta National Park which began with a lunch hosted by the Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JLR) camp facility. The park is 25 km from Bangalore city. More information about them can be found at the website of JLR.
The standard 45 minutes safari followed through the various zones that house the deer, bears, elephants, lions and tigers. At this park, the visitors are transported in ‘cages’ – buses with grills for extra safety and the animals roam free within their expansive boundaries, giving one the feel of a wildlife safari.
The guides and drivers are helpful and knowledgeable and make an earnest attempt to give the visitors a good time. Also, not really being in the wild, gives guaranteed sightings and is a good opportunity for those who want to get up close and personal with these animals and also witness a Cat walk or two 😀
There is also an exquisite butterfly park that is worth visiting and where at times you can witness more butterflies in the making 😀
The tour ended with the bus returning to the Lalit Ashok right in time for for the cultural event featuring a traditional ceremonial dance form called the Pooja Kunitha, performed by the world renowned artiste Savitha. The dance was followed by yet another well curated dinner on the lawns.
Day 3 was business as usual at the stalls that were bustling with activity and appointments.
The media was again offered a tour that covered some of the salient features of Bangalore city, like the Vidhana Soudha, Lal Bagh botanical gardens, Visveswaraya museum, Iskon temple and Bangalore palace.
The closing dinner was at a gala held at the Taj West End, another one of Bangalore’s iconic hotels.
FAM (familiarization) trips –
The domestic media and buyers were taken on a pre event tour which was a 2 night affair with a choice of 4 itineraries covering Coorg, Mysore, Chikmagalur, Bandipur.
The International media and buyers were hosted on a post event heritage and wildlife tours with a choice of 5 itineraries that included places like Mysore, Hassan, Badami, Bijapur, Hampi, Coorg, Bandipur, Kabini etc.
KITE2019 was resounding success and its impact is hoped to bring about an enthusiastic response from the relevant sectors.
Better late than never, this was a very good start to tap Karnataka tourism’s international potential and hopefully the subsequent editions will be bigger and stronger and very effective.
With the launch provided by this platform, Karnataka is poised to soar high like a kite with KITE 😀
KITE contacts –
On this trip I was hosted by Karnataka Tourism and partnering hotels, as a media invitee and I thank them for the hospitality. My narration is based on the inputs I received from various sources as well as my personal experiences.
Aug 25th-27th, 2019