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FASTTRACK’s presenter Akhtar Khan to revisit India in upcoming episodes

13-April-2005
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FASTTRACK’s presenter Akhtar Khan to revisit India in upcoming episodes

‘Incredible’ India is going to be the next destination point for FASTTRACK, the weekly global roundup of travel news for both leisure and business sectors, from BBC World’s stable. Akhtar Khan, the show’s presenter, an Indian by origin, will be revisiting the roots through the lens.

Much to the delight of Indian audience, BBC World is planning to showcase this programme on India in over three weeks time. Asked on the theme, Khan said, “We are looking at topics like medical tourism, which we had taken up in Malaysia and is now looking at it from India. Similarly, we are going to celebrate the beauty of Taj Mahal by speculating on what has really made it a masterpiece and a living historical beauty.”

The concept behind the episode is to capture Indian culture in 30 minutes and showcase how the Government has rebranded the nation to make it a unique destination spot, not just for holidaymakers but for businessmen as well. “What we are trying to do with FASTTRACK is give a fair, objective piece and not just add colour and glamour to the programme. For BBC World, news comes first and the essence behind the programme is to capture the element of news whether it be on culture, tradition or people’s lives,” he said.

Asked on which Indian towns he would be shuttling for the episode, he said, “We are traveling through various places in Rajasthan. We are looking at the tourism industry in the state because a lot of heritage lies there and a lot of palaces have been turned into hotels.” Khan said that each state has its own agenda for promoting itself, for instance, a series was done on Kerala — a state that wooed tourists through tourist boats and lagoon trips. He said that it is hard to encapsulate all the state agendas in a 30-minute episode and so the focus is going to be on India in totality. “What we did with Kerala was region specific, what we are doing this time is country specific,” he said.

Khan is in India for the fifth Global Travel and Tourism Summit organised by the World Travel and Tourism Council for which BBC World is the official broadcasting partner. The channel intends to run an episode on the summit too. “The WTTC programme will happen on April 18th and this will be followed by an episode on Incredible India,” he said.

For Khan, this show is certainly special. He is revisiting his roots. On his experience in India, he said, “My family is from Hyderabad and for me being back in India has been absolutely breathtaking. I believe that India has really evolved and has become like any other developed nation. I belong to this place and I am enjoying the hospitality and laid back approach that Indians have.”

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