image 148 psIn keeping with our mission, GIACC ended its 2019 calendar of events with an event on Tourism - "Let's Talk Tourism-Bring the World Closer". The event focussed on and explored the opportunities and potential synergies between various stakeholders in this industry – Tour operators, airlines and state and government representatives. The purpose of the event was to build awareness of travel opportunities to and from India and U.S states, including Georgia and was held at the beautiful Sandy Springs City Hall, Sandy Springs, Georgia on December 6, 2019.

The Indian Consulate General of Atlanta partnered with GIACC on the event and set up an India Pavilion showcasing literature, videos and pictures of incredible India. The Indian Consul General of Atlanta, Dr. Swati Kulkarni, gave the keynote presentation on Tourism opportunities to India, highlighting wellness and medical tourism, adventure and wildlife tourism, religious and heritage tourism. She spoke about the several new initiatives to improve Tourism to India including the extending of e-visa facilities to over 165 countries, enabling issuance of e-medical, business, tourist, conference and medical attendant visas at several Indian ports of entry, and an update of Incredible India campaign with the launch of a new mobile app.

This event was facilitated by Tours Limited, a well-known Destination management company headquartered in Duluth, GA, under leadership of CEO, Ms. Pabs Raghava, a Board Member of GIACC. Ms. Pabs Raghava spoke about the growth of tourism in the past decade and the vision of upcoming growth in future between India and the US. She introduced Mr. Brian Beall, Deputy Director of Policy- US Department of Commerce International Trade Administration, who shared statistics on Indian and USA tourism, and the enormous potential for tourism growth between the two countries and resulting impact on the two economies.

The event also showcased tourism opportunities inbound to the US. There were booth sponsors from popular tourist destinations such as Hersheys Chocolate World, Corning Museum of Glass, The Countryside of Philadelphia, Brandywine Valley and Velley Forge, GA Tourism and Delta Airlines. The day long event also saw a fashion show of Indian costumes from different Indian states featured by Indian dancers and choreographed by Dr. Hetal Mehta.

The event was attended by distinguished guests such as Mayor Rusty Paul, Mayor of Sandy Springs; Brian Beall, Deputy Director for Policy, from the US Department of Commerce, International Trade Division; Amanda Peacock, from the Tourism Division of Georgia Department of Economic Development; Robert Long, VP Economic Development, Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce; Mr. André D. Fields, Political Director - Fair Fight Action and Mr. Amber Woolfolk, Business Strategist ,Fair Fight Action, representatives from Stacy Abrams office; and Mr. Miheer Anand Nunkoo Co - Founder of the Mauritius - Indo Chamber of Commerce.

GIACC hopes this initiative is a small step to focus attention on the Tourism sector, which if pursued and encouraged can yield significant economic dividends to both India and Georgia.

Additional information:
India Becoming A Top Tourism Target for Georgia, Global Atlanta
Let's Talk Tourism: Bringing the world closer!, Khabar