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Innovative campaign needed to boost tourism in State: Sidhu
Punjab Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Thursday maintained that the State Government need to focus on the innovative marketing campaigns to realise the full potential of tourism in the State.
Sidhu said: “Around 90 lakh people visit India annually…If we talk about the Darbar Sahib, more than 1.20 lakh people visit there every day. Out of this, one lakh people are from outside Punjab only.”
“To increase tourism, we need to provide infrastructure to these tourists,” he stressed while speaking at the National Tourism Conclave that saw a congregation of policymakers and industry giants who pondered over different aspects of smart tourism in India.
Sidhu said that Punjab, in itself, is a huge brand and has contributed immensely in every development-oriented sector to take the country forward on the path to progress.
“Punjab has immense potential to emerge as the Numero Uno destination in tourism sector but the need of the hour is to properly market the extremely rich heritage of the State so as to unlock this potential,” he said.
He also emphasised that if adequate attention is paid to the harnessing of unbounded opportunities in the tourism and cultural sector, this filed alone can be the catalyst and galvanising force to propel Punjab to scale heights of glory.
Batting for the need to create proper infrastructure to facilitate tourists, he said that Ginger hotels should be constructed in order to enable the tourists coming from within and outside the country to prolong their stay and soak in the tremendous feeling on visiting and witnessing the glorious historical and cultural heritage of Punjab.
Sidhu said that the State has many interesting stories to tell about scores of historically epoch making events taking place at its soil like the site at Kalanaur in Gurdaspur where Emperor Akbar was proclaimed King of India.
“We have no dearth of destinations. We have the Golden Temple, the Jallianwala Bagh, Food Street, etc, which are already very popular. We need to popularise stories around these historical places,” he added.
While acknowledging the growing medical tourism in India, Sidhu noted that “medical facilities available in the US for Rs 15 lakhs are available in India at a cost of Rs 15,000 only and building medical infrastructure, especially in the State of Punjab will help tourism grow”.
Sidhu specifically mentioned the need to build state-of-the-art hospitals in Amritsar so that they in turn can help the economy of Punjab grow. “If two or three hospitals are built in historically significant spots like in Amritsar, it would contribute hugely to the strengthening of economic infrastructure of the State,” he added.
He also listed landscaping and setting up of cafeterias as important steps in giving more push to the tourism sector. He also underlined the importance of promoting rural tourism which would lead to the emergence of rural areas of the State on the world map.
Giving a clarion call for the need to help connect NRI Punjabi community with its roots back home, Sidhu said that if proper facilities are made available to cater to the NRIs, it can also give a boost to State’s economy.
The Minister assured that the rich and glorious heritage of Punjab would be taken to the grassroots level in the State so as to ensure that everybody is aware of the rich legacy and traditions that have been bestowed upon the State.
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