Bihar showcased its tourism potential at a four-day extravaganza — Incredible India Week — at the Siam Paragon Mall in Bangkok.
Eighteen states were part of the event that had started on August 15.
Aimed at promoting the Thai-Indian cultural and historical bond, the event showcased contemporary Indian fashion by noted Bollywood fashion designers Vikram Phadnis and Joy Mitra, photography shows as well as exhibitions on Indian paintings, handicraft and wood carving among others.
The tourism department looked at the event as an opportunity to control damage with regard to Thai tourist inflow at the Buddhist Circuit in Bihar after the July 7 Bodhgaya serial blasts.
“The tourist season in the Buddhist Circuit in Bihar would start from October. Since there are apprehensions that the Bodhgaya blasts might affect the foreign tourists’ inflow in the state, we thought that the Incredible India Week could be used as a platform to boost the confidence of Thai tourists at their home. According to a letter received from the Indian embassy at Bangkok, Thailand, the owner of Siam Paragon Mall had committed to provide a pavilion for Bihar tourism at the event. Moreover, an interaction with Thai travel and tour operators was also scheduled during the four-day event,” said a senior officer with the tourism department.
Awadhesh Kumar, the managing director of Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC), represented the state at the event.
The Incredible India Week had kicked off with a fashion show of traditional Indian costumes having contemporary twists by noted Bollywood designers Mitra and Phadnis.
Sushil Kumar Singh, the managing director of city-based Jatak Travels, also participated in the event.
“Thailand is a major market for foreign Buddhist tourists coming to Bihar. We cater to around 150 Thai groups during peak tourist season every year. The booking for the October-March season has just started. Thus, it was a good opportunity for us to showcase our tourism potential and interact with our counterparts in Thailand,” said Upendra Nath Mishra, the chief executive officer of Jatak Travels.
According to estimates, there are around 2 lakh people of Indian origin in Thailand.
The other major attractions in the event, organised by Siam Paragon Mall in association with the Indian embassy in Thailand, included Indian cultural dance festival organised by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and an Indian food festival offering delicacies from the participating states.