India offers vast holiday choice

Ayurvedic rejuvenation packages are growing in popularity in India.

The vast variety of holiday and travel options that India offers visitors will be on show at this month's MTF in Cairo.

India offers visitors a gamut of experiences from its rich and diverse culture and traditions, medieval forts and palaces, exotic nature and beach resorts, adventure in mountains, the wild and water and a fascinating line up of fairs and festivals, says the Government of India's tourist office based in Johannesburg.

A growing niche market that the government is aggressively pursuing in association with private sector operators is health tourism, especially Ayurvedic spa packages which are proving immensely popular, said Yogesh Jain, director of the tourism office.

The ancient Indian rejuvenation and health treatment is available now at spa resorts spread across the country including the Taj Ayurveda Centre in Calicut, Kerala and the Taj Exotic/Taj Aguada Resort in Goa, the Oberoi group's Raj Vilas resort in Jaipur or the Amar Vilas in Agra among many others.

Jain said the government and private sector operators are organising a number of travel marts across the country to promote the diverse options available in India.

These marts aim to bring together buyers and sellers at a common forum and travel operators in Egypt and the Middle East can take advantage of these marts to make contacts with their Indian counterparts and market packages to India, said Jain.

The Indian tourism stand at the MTF will be promoting these travel marts, said Jain.

He said the tourist office will also be targetting the incentives and business travel market at the show.

India can offer varied options to meetings and incentives planners while business travel is picking up again after the post-September 11 slump with airlines and hotels teaming up to offer attractive packages, said Jain.