At IITF, brand Kashmir goes like hot cakes

Greater Kashmir

Wazwan, package tours attract customers to JKTDC stall

Srinagar, Nov 28: With brand Kashmir selling like hot cakes at 27th India International Trade Fair held in New Delhi, the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) has done a whopping over rupees two million business during the 14-day fair which concluded Tuesday. Package tour bookings for the Valley trip remained hottie with customers enjoying mouthwatering traditional delicacies, Wazwan, and Kehwa.
 To make the event a success Chief Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad specially visited the fair on November 17 along with some of his colleagues in the Union Ministry.
 Hira Mani, a techie couldn’t resist to take a pack of Wazwan home as he relished his lunch at the JKTDC stall. Mani is getting engaged Sunday and hopes to serve the yummy pack to his beloved.
 “Even though we have arranged the function at a big hotel but the typical taste of Wazwan won’t be there,” Mani told Greater Kashmir on phone while making the purchase.
 Not only Indians, a considerable number of foreigners enjoyed the delicacies prepared by Kashmiri chefs at the JKTDC stalls in the fair.
 “High profile dignitaries from countries like Poland and France thronged to our stall,” said a JKTDC official.
 On tasting the Wazwan, Ashwin Sanassy, a British industrialist wished if he could carry the traditional chefs along and sell the cuisine in his country, an official of JKTDC said.
 Besides the cuisine, JKTDC impressed customers by marketing package trips to Kashmir under various banners including a surprise package for honeymooners.
 The corporation’s Managing Director Aziz Wani said customers made advance bookings for around Rs seven lakhs. Besides, he said each day Wazwan was sold for around Rs one lakh.
 “We are very happy with the results. Clientele went happy internationally and we sold some good packages,” Aziz told Greater Kashmir on phone.
 He said the response was phenomenal despite restricted entry to the fair.
 “Unlike past when there used to be free entry, this year only some one lakh people were allowed entry to the fair. But still we made it,” he added.
 Aziz said JKTDC tried its level best to attract the clientele.
 “Not only reputed chefs, we also flew the special Wazwan ingredients from Kashmir so that everything was pure and natural,” he said.
 To mention, the trade fair had attracted participation from countries like USA, Pakistan, Nepal, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Morocco, Egypt, UAE, Poland, Thailand, France, Syria.
 President Pratibha Patil inaugurated the fair on November 14.