The pull of the unknown, wanderlust and India's richness as a destination of great heritage are the flavours of the 17th Delhi Book Fair 2011.
It is hardly surprising: the official theme of the fair, which opened Saturday at Pragati Maidan, is travel and tourism.
More than 250 Indian and foreign publishers are hosted here in a bid to promote the domain of travel and tourism in India by linking it to travel literature, a genre whose appeal cuts across all divides.
"The boom in travel in the last decade has created a demand for cheaper travel books in India," Bikash D. Niyogi, managing director of Niyogi Books, told IANS. "Travellers look for books that they can read and throw away."
Three of Niyogi's new high-end travel titles include Mussoorie Merchant by Hugh Ashley Rayner, a volume on Chittorgarh Fort by Dharmender Kunwar, and Tracing Marco Polo's Journey: The Silk Route by Major H.P.S. Ahluwalia.
"In the lower price segment, we are publishing Hugh and Colleen Gantzer's travels in four volumes," Niyogi said.
One of the highlights of the fair is "The Highway on My Plate" by travellers and foodies Rocky Singh and Mayur Sharma. The anthology reviews more than 100 eateries across India, including the Tawang monastery kitchen in the heights of Aruanchal Pradesh.
The demand for updated destination guide books has been consistently growing because of increased domestic travel.
"In India, when people set out on a holiday, they do not think of buying a book," Atulya Dev Issar of Diamond Books said. "They buy it impuslisvely at the destination."
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