Karnataka is going into overdrive to present a cleaner and greener image of Bengaluru when it hosts the 38th edition of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) during September 6-8. Seven committees led by top officials will ensure Bengaluru’s “best picture” is presented to PATA delegates.
Tourism Minister R V Deshpande on Thursday insisted the government was giving Bengaluru a “makeover” in the run-up to the prestigious event which it would host for the first time. “We bid Rs 1.8 crore to bring PATA to Bengaluru. We want those coming to see only a clean and green Bengaluru,” he said.
The minister acknowledged that garbage was still a problem in Bengaluru, but said that the situation had “improved”. “Potholes are being taken care of. We want the PATA meeting to be the best so that more such events happen as they boost tourism revenue and create jobs.”
The Bangalore Development Authority (BDA), the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), transport, traffic police, infrastructure, home and fire departments are involved in hosting the event. But Deshpande said people would be the best ambassadors.
“We request the people of Bengaluru to ensure foreign delegates get the best hospitality. I also appeal to every citizen to keep the city neat and clean, so the guests take a clean and green memory of Bengaluru with them,” he said.
Pradeep Singh Kharola, Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism, urged all service providers, taxi, tour and business operators to provide “best hospitality”.
The PATA conference, to be held at the Bangalore International Exhibition Centre, will have buyers’ and sellers’ meet as well as a technology forum to showcase the start-ups of Karnataka and an investment forum to showcase the policies. Several MoUs are expected to be signed.
Tourism Director G Satyavati said that 1,200 delegates form 61 countries would attend the conference. Twelve hotels in Bengaluru will host them. So far, 245 buyers and 446 sellers have registered. A few teams have 45 delegates.
The delegates will be given gift boxes containing Channapatna toys, handicrafts, postcards and stationery. The Tourism Department, with the help of India Post, launched 12 special postcards on Mysuru Dasara, Jog falls, Hampi Stone Chariot, Tipu Sultan’s Battle of Pollilur (1780), stone work of Vijayanagar empire, Shravanabelagola, Bandipur National Park, Gol Gumbaz, Sandalwood art work and Bidriware.