Hyderabad will host the 78th edition of the Skal World Congress from October 5-9, Telangana Tourism Secretary B Venkatesham said today. Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao will inaugurate the event of the International Association of Travel and tourism professionals on October 6 and around 1,000 delegates from 85 countries will participate in the Congress, Venkatesham told reporters here. "The SKAL Congress will provide an platform and is an excellent opportunity to showcase Hyderabad and other tourism destinations of the state for the tourists from across the world," he said. Venkatesham said around 2.5 lakh foreign tourists arrived in Hyderabad and the state in 2016. "We want to take this number to 1 million foreign tourists by 2020. And events like this offer an excellent opportunity to showcase the various tourist destinations in the state and tourism products," added the senior bureaucrat. Commissioner of Tourism Sunita M Bhagwat and Tourism Development Corporation Managing Director Christina Z Chongthu said, "It is a golden opportunity for Telangana Tourism. We will highlight and showcase all our tourist destinations including Hyderabad and Warangal as Heritage Cities.
We will have a huge stall promoting various destinations in the state. We will also organise cultural programmes." Skal is a professional organisation of tourism leaders around the world, promoting global tourism and friendship. Skal Hyderabad president, Vijay Mohan Raj said "we will be showcasing all tourism products and there will be a travel expo also during the event." "A top management specialist in India Prof Himanshu Rai will be the celebrity speaker at the inaugural function. It is Indo-US Tourism Year. During the Congress, 9 Indian cities will enter twinning agreement with 12 cities of USA," Vijay said. Chennai had hosted the 64th World Congress in 2003, he added.
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