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September 5th , 2013

In an attempt to draw more tourists to the state, The Department of Tourism, West Bengal Government recently organised multi city raodshow including Hyderabad, Ahemdabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Lucknow and Delhi.

The roadshow in Delhi was organized in collaboration with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The raodshow in Delhi was inaugurated by Krishnendu N Choudhury, Minister-in-Charge of Tourism, West Bengal in the presence of Vikram Sen, Principal Secretary (Tourism), West Bengal; Subhash Goayl, President, Indian Association of Tour Operators; P P Khanna, Vice President, Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India; Sujit Banerjee, Secretary General WTCC (India Cahpter); Bhaskar Khulbe, Additional CS & Principal Resident Commissioner; Umapada Chatterjee, Director (Tourism), West Bengal, travel trade of Delhi and tour operators and hoteliers of West Bengal.

Apart from highlights the latest initiatives taken by the department as well as tourism attractions of the state, the roadshow focused on the forthcoming Durga Puja Carnival, the biggest socio-cultural festival in West Bengal. The Department also dealt separately with investment opportunities in the tourism sector inviting local investors at the road show and explaining to them the opportunities that the state offers. “The tourism sector in the state has been given high priority. The government has increased the budget from Rs 36 crores to Rs 120 crores in last 2 years. The Department of Tourism has started marketing and promotional initiatives in domestic and overseas markets,”the Minister said.

Sen informed hat the BBC Worldwide has started airing a 30-second advertisement and a 15-minute documentary on the state from July in Western Europe, South Asia, West Asia and Asia-Pacific for three months ending in September. “We expect the campaign to boost tourism in the State during the ensuing Durga Puja and other seasons,” Sen said. He also divulged that team comprises of department officials and tour operators and hoteliers from the state will organize a roadshow in New York in September to invite non resident Bengalis as well as US tourists to visit Durga Puja.

Sen also detailed about the latest initiatives taken by the department to strengthen the tourism infrastructure. “We have chalked out a plan of Rs 3490 crore investment in public-private projects to develop tourism-related infrastructure. We have divided the whole state in 5 zones: Darjeeling Himalayas, Dooars, Heritage Bengal, Megacity Kolkata and Beaches and Mangroves for various projects,” he added. The state is also developing new destinations like Gajoldoba (Dooars), Sylee (Darjeeling), Kunjanagar (Dooars), Jharkhali (Sunderban), Sabuj Dweep etc. Besides these projects, the government also claimed to increase road and rail links along with six new routes for helicopter services.

The West Bengal government recently signed an MoU with Pawan Hans Limited to provide helicopter services on Kolkata-Haldia, Kolkata-Asansol, Kolkata-Durgapur, Kolkata-Digha, Kolkata-Ganga Sagar and Bagdogra-Darjeeling routes.

The government is also keen on developing air connectivity to the state and recently reduced the tax on ATF. “There would be 50 per cent rebate on tax on additional ATF sold to any airline from Kolkata airport compared to corresponding ATF consumed by the airline in 2012-13. Thus effective rate of tax on ATF on excess quantity of Fuel consumed will come down from existing 30 per cent to 15 per cent,” Choudhury said. Sen informed that nigh landing permit at Bagdogra has already given and Durgapur airport will be ready by the year end. “New airports are planned in Cooch Behar and Malda,” he informed ...... News By Mr M M Jha 

Posted on: 05 Sep, 2013

Tags: Gorumara, Jaldapara, Chapramari, Dooars
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