Annual SATTE meet to begin on April 18

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New Delhi, Apr 15 (UNI) The 15th annual edition of South Asia Travel and Tourism Exchange (SATTE), slated to be one of the biggest travel and tourism exhibitions in Asia, will be held at Delhi's sprawling Pragati Maidan from April 18 to 20.

''In terms of sheer scale which is mostly determined by space and attendance in such exhibitions, SATTE's 15th annual edition will be one of the biggest travel and tourism exhibitions in the continent,'' Navin Berry, Chief Co-ordinator, Satte, said today.

While Gujarat is the principal partner state in the exhibition, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and West Bengal will be the other supporting states.

The northeastern states will continue to draw the attention of visitors at SATTE by virtue of being the 'theme region.' Air India is the official airline partner of the exhibition, which will be inaugurated by Tourism Secretary Shilabhadra Banerjee.

Tourism and Culture Minister Ambika Soni will present awards to some of the most noted names from travel and tourism business on April 19 evening.

SATTE, which has been in existence since 1994, has emerged as the single, biggest platform in the country to bring buyers and sellers from various domains of the travel and tourism business under one roof.

Mr Berry said one of its calling cards had been the high attendance of tour operators from the overseas markets.

''We have hosted over 4,500 international tour operators over the years to source and buy Indian tourism products so far and we have successfully built up this platform to assume an international character in a sustained manner in the last one and a half decades,'' he added.

He said SATTE's 15th edition was expected to register a significant jump in buyer-seller attendance.

''We are expecting a growth of 25 per cent over the previous exhibition on the basis of two parameters. The net space size being used for the exhibition is over 5400 sqm comprising more than 600 booths and 13 countries will exhibit their products at the mart where over 225 tour operators from all over the world (around 35 countries) are coming to buy Indian tourism products,'' he added.

The exhibition will also showcase tourism products from some of the leading states in the country.

Among other things, the exhibition will have major attraction in the form of presence of major national and international hotel chains, including Hilton, Carlson, Accor, Marriott, Taj, The Oberoi and ITC.

The stand-alone properties are also aggressively participating in the event.

''We will have over 150 stand-alone properties this year with 35 of them coming from Kerala alone,'' Mr Berry said.

SATTE '94 was the first travel mart in this part of the world, which was also the first instance of Public-Private Partnership in the Indian travel industry, showcasing the total composite tourism product under one roof.

UNI SKS BDP RN1758

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