BY DEBAJYOTI CHAKRABORTY
KOLKATA, 29 AUGUST 2022
To further boost the tourism prospects in the state, the West Bengal government is planning to introduce theme based tourism in the existing tourism hotspots besides upgrading and developing the infrastructure in the coming days.
Recently, the state tourism department secretary, Saumitra Mohan has sent letters to all the district magistrates of the state telling them that to further boost the existing tourism places, the state is planning to focus on seven theme based tourism.
” We have directed all the DMs for identification of major tourism destinations for integrated development. In view of the increasing importance of tourism sector in the economy it is imperative to suitably harness and leverage the potential of various tourist destinations depending on their exclusiveness , offerings and themes, connectivity with the existing tourist circuit, available infrastructural and logistical ecosystem at the destination with emphasis on the themes – culture and heritage, adventure tourism, eco tourism, wellness tourism, MICE tourism, rural tourism, beach tourism,” sais Saumitra Mohan, secretary of department of tourism West Bengal.
The goal of the tourism department will be to highlight the added facilities available in those tourism hotspots to the potential sector of the tourists. Besides, thrust will be given on the factors like sustainability, renewable energies and eco friendly projects.
The District Magistrates have been directed to make a survey and identify and make a list of the possible locations for development of these proposed theme tourism. Even tourism will be promoted at Tier -II and Tier -III cities as they also have huge tourism potentials.
Efforts are going on at present by the tourism department based on the recommendations of the expert advisory committee to identify beautiful, calm and quiet places with tourism attractions for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) tourism for business and corporate sectors.
The West Bengal government has been planning to uplift the tourism sector like in Goa, Rajasthan, Kerala, Jammu and Kashmir and Odisha.
From the hills to the beaches, West Bengal has a wide range of tourism potential. The DMs will prepare a destination master plan to further develop these spots.
Plans are also on to protect the heritage places further and to showcase the local culture, cuisines to the visitors. Participation of more private sector investments in the tourism and hospitality sector will also be encouraged.
Facilities of drinking water and bio toilets will also be set up in those areas. It is most likely that the developments will take place through PPP mode.
Former union minister and bollywood playback singer Babul Supriyo has recently taken over the charge of state tourism ministry. He is likely to play a significant role in tourism development in the state in the coming days.
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has plans to promote Biswa Bangla both within and outside the country and tourism has become a very important sector of her government. Both Anil Punjabi, Chairman ( East) of Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI and Manav Soni, Chairman (East) of Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) has welcomed the latest move of the state tourism department and said that they are ready to provide all support to promote tourism in West Bengal.
In the past few months, the state tourism department has organised a host of meetings with the experts, travel agent associations, airlines operators to boost tourism in the state.
A lot of developments will take place in the tourism and hospitality sector in West Bengal in the coming days as the world returns back to normalcy after two years of post covid outbreak.
American hospitality behemoth, Marriott International Inc has already announced plans to set up a 140 key five star hotel, Courtyard by Marriot at Asansol at a cost of Rs.500 crores.
Another five star category hotel and resort, Fairfield by Marriott will come up at Maithon, the tourism hotspot at the outskirts of Asansol town.
Next year, the proposed shooting of Telugu superhit movie – Pushpa The Rule ( Pushpa -2) starring Telugu superstar Allu Arjun at Khatra area in Bankura will further boost film tourism in the state, experts feel. These projects will uplift the socio economic scenario and generate local employment.