CTC hosts exclusive luncheon for media and travel-trade VIPs for Bollywood megastar.
With a series of blockbuster movies under his belt, Akshay Kumar is no stranger to the spotlight. So the King of Bollywood was at his engaging best at a recent luncheon hosted by the Canadian Tourism Commission (CTC) in New Delhi to introduce him as Canada’s tourism ambassador to India.
More than 70 print and TV media folk along with a full house of prominent travel-trade reps came to the Oberoi Hotel on Feb. 25 for the press conference and banquet. They were joined by Stewart Beck, High Commissioner of Canada to India, who gave a vote of thanks to CTC and our Indian tourism partners.
Kumar will serve in this special high-profile tourism role until summer 2012. In doing so, he will make a number of promotional appearances in India and Canada, as well as making familiarization trips around the latter—guaranteed to get extensive Indian media pick-up.
India is one of CTC’s key international markets: tourism to Canada has grown 11% year on year since 2000. Last year saw even more startling expansion, with more than 130,000 Indian visitors passing through Canadian passport control, a 20% surge on 2009.
Kumar has genuinely close ties to Canada. He has shot several movies here and supports various Canadian causes, including the Trillium Health Centre, a community hospital in Mississauga, ON. In 2008, the University of Windsor, ON, awarded him an honorary doctorate of law for his contribution to Indian cinema.
“We’re already seeing impressive growth from the India market, so we are especially pleased to have Akshay on board as CTC’s ambassador to India,” says galpin [dot] derek [at] ctc-cct [dot] ca (Derek Galpin), CTC managing director, China and India. “Having a superstar of his calibre will give Canada’s profile a major boost in India and his journeys around our country will highlight the amazing experiences that Indian travellers can look forward to.”
Earlier this past February, CTC and Ontario Tourism Marketing Partnership Corporation teamed up to sponsor the “Canadian Tourism Commission Million Race” at Mumbai’s top-notch Mahalaxmi horse-race course. More than 450 media and travel-trade veeps plus Bollywood celebs came for a glamorous afternoon at the racetrack. Romantique was first past the finishing post, winning one million rupees and the Canadian Tourism Commission Million Trophy for its owners. After a prize draw, two lucky attendees won flight tickets plus a five-night stay in Toronto, ON, for the prestigious International Indian Film Academy celebrations 2011, being held in North America for the first time June 23-25.