New Delhi, August 31: Heralding the onset of Durga Puja, associated in West Bengal with goddess’ autumnal homecoming to the earth, euphoric abandon, family reunions and lavish Bengali fare, the Department of Tourism, Government of West Bengal had organized a two-day mega Tourism Promotion Road Show at Ashok Hotel, New Delhi in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on 31st August and 1st September, 2013.
The initiative envisages to fillip the ongoing Intensive Tourism Promotion Campaign by West Bengal Tourism projecting the State as a unique travel destination lending sharp focus on the upcoming Durga Puja Carnival that epitomises the festive flavour and ethos of the State.
Representatives of tour operator associations, prospective investors, diplomatic missions of Bnagladesh, China, Peru, Azerbaijan, Burkina Faso, delegates from hospitality industry, members of tourism boards and mediapersons attended the programme which was also aimed at highlighting the conducive opportunities for investment in unparalleled diversified, bankable mega tourism projects in the State.
Welcoming the large gathering at the Banquet Hall of The Ashok, Shri Subhash Goyal, President, Indian Association of Tour Operators praised the Government’s recent initiatives and proposals for promoting tourism in the state and assured the association’s whole-hearted support for the endevour to “bring back the old glory of Bengal”.
Shri Bhaskar Khulbe, Principal Resident Commissioner and Additional Chief Secretary, Government of West Bengal, spoke in detail about the visionary policy of the State Government, especially in respect to the mega tourism projects that have been proposed in public-private-partnership mode. He announced that State would participate in the Government of India initiative of ‘777 days in the Himalayas’ being launched in Uttarakhand on 28th September, 2013. He hoped that it would be an appropriate opportunity to showcase the panoramic glory nature has bestowed to Darjeeling and its neighbouring areas.
Shri Krishnendu Narayan Choudhury, Hon’ble Minister-in-Charge, Tourism, Government of West Bengal told the august gathering that since the new government took charge, tourism sector has been given high priority. He pointed out that the Department of Tourism is undertaking intensive efforts to boost the sector and organizing special road shows for promotion of tourism across the country. Similar tourism promotion initiatives have already been undertaken in Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Chennai and Lucknow, while the “Chalo Chalen Bengal” campaign were launched in New Delhi in the month of April, the Hon’ble Minister noted.
Mr. Md. Habibur Rahman Khan, Minister (Commerce), Bangladesh High Commission, Sri P. P. Khanna, Vice-President, Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India & Chairman and Shri Sujit Banerjee, Secretary General, World Travel and Tourism Council (India Chapter) also addressed the gathering.
Principal Secretary, Tourism, Shri Vikram Sen made a presentation depicting the beautiful and attractive tourism destinations of Bengal focusing on the religious ethos and cultural strengths of Puja and various festivals in West Bengal besides the new tourism policy announcements to catalyze investments in the tourism sector. Director, Tourism, Shri Umapada Chatterjee gave the Vote of Thanks.
Representatives of tourism boards of several countries and travel investors and groups such as Sinclair Hotels, Pride Hotels, Mercury Himalayan Explorations Ltd, Cruise Masters, Federation of Hotel and Restaurant Associations, Duet Hotels, Lemon Tree Hotels attended the programme which also included B2B and investor relation meetings.
Alike for the Bengali Diaspora and the discerning, inquisitive travellers in the NCR, the tour operators from West Bengal are showcasing the lucrative special tourism packages in especially set up stalls at the venue of the road show for online booking (including hotel accommodation, train/air tickets) for a rejuvenating holiday experience during the Puja Spectacle in West Bengal, besides other prominent sight-seeing spots. West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation and Department of Tourism were also present for promotion of various tour packages including those focussing on Durga Puja.
The show also displayed colourful and exquisite handloom/handicrafts products of the State, embodying the rare blend of vibrant imagery, imagination, colour and style found in the celebrated treasure trove of craftspersons from rural Bengal. To convey the essence of cultural heritage of the State, a unique Cultural soiree was organized, blending tradition with modernity through music and dance trails.
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