SUBJECT :West Bengal is poised to emerge as the most attractive tourist destination for both domestic and international travellers, its Tourism Minister Goutam Deb said here Thursday. 

February 14, 2019: West Bengal is poised to emerge as the most attractive tourist destination for both domestic and international travellers, its Tourism Minister Goutam Deb said here Thursday.

The state has laid special focus on sustainable development of infrastructure through enhanced rail, road, air and water connectivity, he said at an event orgainsed by the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

"We are working hard to strengthen infrastructure and policies to boost ecotourism, religious, sports and health tourism ... West Bengal is poised to become the most attractive tourist destination as it is the most peaceful state with all necessary requirements," he said speaking at "Travel India 2019".

The state government has 43 properties of its own and is planning to develop 100 more properties which would draw the attention of not only tourists but of private investors as well, he said.

It is also creating many other tourist destinations as well; he said and mentioned three projects being developed in the PPP mode at Gajoldoba in north Bengal, Jharkhali in the Sundarbans and in the western banks of Hoogly.

Referring to the government's efforts to strengthen infrastructure for more tourist footfalls, the minister cited the example of Bagdogra airport that has recorded the highest growth in air traffic in the country.

New airports are coming up at Balurghat, Coochbehar and Burnpur and the state has already provided 26 acres to the Airport Authority of India (AAI). There are plans to provide 110 acres more for further expansion, he added.

The principal secretary to the state tourism department, Atri Bhattacharya said the government is working on digital marketing to make festivals observed in the state like Durga Puja more attractive for the tourists.

A mobile application named 'Hurray' has been launched through which tourism service providers can link and thereby help the government map the existing tour operators and service providers in the sector.

Atul Bhalla, chairman of the ICC tourism committee, said there is need for enhanced digital presence and in the social media for tourism to prosper in the state.


Source: www.business-standard.com