West Bengal (WB) Tourism plans to engage with and reach out to the travel trade and consumers throughout the country so as to promote the ‘complete destination’. Talking about the same at the recently concluded OTM 2015, Umapada Chatterjee, Director of Tourism & Ex-officio Special Secretary, Government of West Bengal, said, “The present government has taken several initiatives to boost tourism in West Bengal. Going by the current trends, tourism is a fast growing and thus an impactful sector for the state economy. Keeping this in mind, we shall be actively participating in all major travel and tourism trade festivals across India, coupled with roadshows and consumer campaigns across all mediums. Our aim is to invite as many domestic an international tourists to enjoy the complete destination.”
West Bengal, which has a very important geo-strategic location. The state capital, Kolkata is the commercial hub of the Eastern region of India. The state shares borders with three major SAARC nations, namely Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. Not only is the state rich in culture, art and heritage, but is also blessed with natural bounties ranging from the Sundarbans in the south to the Himalayas in the north.
During the last couple of years, the flow of tourist traffic to West Bengal has been steadily increasing. According to India Tourism Statistics 2013, West Bengal stands on the ninth position among in the country with respect to domestic tourist footfall, whereas in case of international tourists, the state ranks number 6, accounting for almost six per cent of Inbound Tourism to the country.
The Department has confirmed its participation in tourism fairs in Surat, Pune, Hyderabad, and Kochi, apart from metro cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, and Ahmadabad to showcase its tourist attractions. Keeping in line with the growth chart, WB Tourism will expand its reach to Tier-II markets, which will include participating in travel festivals in places like Lucknow, Chandigarh, Nagpur, Visakhapatnam, and Coimbatore.
The roadshows being organised simultaneously with the major fairs are expected to be the right forum for capitalising opportunities to ensure substantial increase of tourist inflow in the state by involving tour operators whose enterprising initiatives will help the Department’s goal.