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Let’s Talk Tourism: Bringing the world closer!

By Geeta Mehrotra
January 2020
Let’s Talk Tourism: Bringing the world closer!


(Left) The "Colors of India" fashion show participant who introduced the show. (Photography by Vinod)

The Georgia Indo American Chamber of Commerce (GIACC), in partnership with the Consulate General of India, hosted all day event on tourism at Sandy Springs City Hall on Friday, December 6, 2019. Attendees enjoyed the wonderful sights and sounds of “Incredible India” and learned about some fabulous tourist destinations in the U.S.

It was an educational and entertaining event that brought together various stakeholders in this industry: tour operators, hotels, airlines, and state and government representatives. It explored the tremendous opportunities and potential synergies between the Indian and U.S. tourism industries. It was a free event with free raffle drawings. Exhibits and booths had information brochures to take home to plan a trip.


(Left) Mr. Amber Mehta, GIACC Treasurer​; Anita Ninan, GIACC President; Consul General Dr. Swati Kulkarni; Prabha Pabs Raghava, Tours Limited CEO; and Unmesh Mishra, GIACC Chairperson. (Photography by Vinod)

The afternoon session between 1pm-3pm was facilitated by Tours Limited, a destination management company headquartered in Duluth, under the leadership of CEO, Ms. Pabs Raghava. This event was emceed by Ms. Madhavi Chimalapati, the company’s Sr. Principal Director and head of Marketing. Ms. Radhika Tripurani, Sr. Director of Public Relations and Digital Marketing led the project team.

Ms. Anita Ninan, President of GIACC, welcomed all and described GIACC’s goals, objectives, and activities.


(Left) The dramatic finale of the India (dancing) Fashion Show at “Let’s Talk Tourism.” (Photography by Vinod)


A dancer/model in the fashion show, representing the Punjab. (Photo: Geeta Mehrotra)


A dancer/model in the fashion show, representing Maharashtra. (Photo: Geeta Mehrotra)


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The fashion show dancers. (Photography by Vinod)

In the fashion show “Colors of India” choreographed by Dr. Hetal Mehta, models danced to the music of the state they were representing! And at the end, a man and two boys joined in! A Rajasthani dance choreographed by Arti Jain was also presented.

Consul General Dr. Swati Kulkarni shared a Powerpoint presentation on Incredible India, showcasing some of India’s offerings to the world: the game of chess, contributions to trigonometry, Ayurveda, yoga, and the decimal point system. The presentation also showed India’s majestic mountains and vast seas, world heritage sites, spiritual destinations, its business and adventure tourism, and wellness and yoga tourism. And now with e-visas and medical tourism, which is increasing by 20% every year, India has so much to offer. With the programs “Dekho Apna Desh,” encouraging Indians to travel in India, and “Tourism for All,” working on barrier-free tourism and sustainable tourism, the Indian government aims to double tourism growth and revenue generation by 2022. The Consul General also unveiled Tour Limited’s “Majestic India” brochure.

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(Left) Amanda Peacock, a Regional Tourism Project Manager in Georgia. (Photo: Geeta Mehrotra)

Pabs Raghava spoke about the growth of tourism in the past decade. Brian Beall, Deputy Director at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration shared statistics on the potential increase of tourists from India and the impact on the U.S. economy. He noted which areas of the U.S. Indian tourists visit and how long they stay: an average of 36 nights, the longest of any country, with 31% visiting relatives and friends. Attendees and participants spoke of the desire for a direct flight between Atlanta and India, which could help with tourism to Georgia and the Southeast.

Many other dignitaries attended, including Sandy Springs Mayor Rusty Paul; Ms. Jan Paul, Executive Director of Leadership Sandy Springs; Robert Long, Vice President of Economic Development at Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce; André D. Fields, Political Director of Fair Fight Action; Ms. Amber Woolfolk, Business Strategist at Fair Fight Action; and Mr. Miheer Anand Nunkoo, Cofounder of the Indo-Mauritius Chamber of Commerce.


(Left) Pabs Raghava, Tours Limited CEO, Consul General Dr. Swati Kulkarni, and Joseph Oh, Delta Global Account Executive (on the right) presenting Ms. Nanda with round trip tickets from JFK to BOM, won in one of the raffles. (Photography by Vinod)

Besides India and the state of Georgia, states with displays included New York (with the Corning Museum of Glass) and Pennsylvania (with Hershey’s chocolate and Valley Forge’s history). Raffle prizes included round trip Delta tickets for two from New York’s JFK airport to Mumbai’s BOM, 4-day 4-park Disney tickets for four, 5 SeaWorld tickets, tickets to Hershey’s, World of Coke, and Planet Hollywood, and a grand Philadelphia Countryside package for four with tickets to Longwood Gardens, Brandywine River Museum of art, Valley Forge, a gift card for mall or outlet shopping, and accommodations.


Website Bonus Feature

Photo Gallery:

GIACC album:

"India Becoming a Top Tourism Target for Georgia"



 Remember, we have new Website Bonus Features that are not in the print magazine. Every time you see the W symbol in the print magazine, you can go to our website to see additional print or audiovisual material!

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