Karnataka wows visitors with biggest stall

The biggest exhibition stall at the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas has been set up by the Karnataka government and it became a major crowd-puller right on the first day.

The ‘Karnataka Santhe’ stall offers a wide variety of articles from Priyadarshini and Cauvery handicrafts to Mysore Silk sarees, and Nandini Milk products to Mysore Sandal Soap and Oil, and Mysore Pak to coir products. There are also counters giving information on the state’s tourist destination.

Since its opening, the stall saw heavy rush. Mysore Silk sarees (up to 40% discount) and handicrafts sold like hotcakes. “The brisk business is a testimony to the popularity of Mysore Silk sarees. People are finding it easy to purchase because we have card swipe machines. We are also accepting foreign currency, as we know that Indian banknotes are short in supply because of demonetisation,” said a salesman at the Mysore Silks counter. Several people are just making advance bookings.

Even exhibitors from other states made a beeline to the saree counter. “We came here to get more business for our state, but I am doing business for Karnataka. I like Mysore Pak and sarees. I am buying the sarees for my wife,” said an exhibitor from Gujarat.

Foreign delegates also made purchases, especially sandal soap and oil. “We were planning to go to the Cauvery Emporium store on MG Road for shopping after the exhibition, but were worried about the distance and travel time. The counter here has made it so easy for us,” said Frank, a delegate from the UK.

Delegates also visited the Karnataka Tourism counter. Many of them made bookings. Tourism and IT-BT Minister Priyank Kharge said the government wanted to market Karnataka’s tourism destinations. The Tourism Department is offering the 7,200-odd delegates day-long sightseeing of Bengaluru and Mysuru. Besides, there are special package tours to places like Kodagu and Chikkamagaluru. “We expect a surge in tourist arrivals, especially in the wake of our NRI policy. We are using the PBD as a platform to showcase Karnataka and its diverse tourism,” he said.

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