Millennium Post

Bengal has emerged as one of the top tourist destinations: Goutam Deb

Bengal has emerged as one of the top tourist destinations: Goutam Deb

Kolkata: State minister for Tourism Goutam Deb said the development in the tourism sector has helped Bengal emerge as one of the most favorite tourist destinations for not just domestic tourists but also international tourists.

Deb was addressing a gathering at the Indian Chamber of Commerce on Thursday morning.

He said the Bagdogra airport has recorded the highest growth rate of traffic in India.

Already 26 acres have been provided to the Airport Authority of India and plans were afoot to provide 110 acres more.

A comprehensive development project at an estimated cost of Rs 500 crore project will be taken up soon. Several other airports in Balurghat, Coochbehar and Burnpur are also coming up.

He said the state government has 43 homestay facilities and is coming up with many other tourist destinations.

The state government aims to come up with 100 more homestay facilities making Bengal, the state with maximum tourist attractions.

He mentioned of the three projects in Public-private partnership (PPP) taken up by the government in Bhorer Alo Gajoldoba, Jharkhali in Sunderbans, and western banks of Hooghly.

Atri Bhattacharya, principal secretary, Tourism said an investment that is capable of creating one job in the heavy manufacturing sector, can actually create around 8 to 10 jobs in the services sector with tourism being the leading one.

He said: "While the entire world is going gaga over experiential tourism, we in India forget that we are actually living some of the finest experiences that should be leveraged to boost the tourism sector."

Mayank Jalan, the Sr vice-president of Indian Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the guests and stated that India has huge potential across various spheres of tourism and

Bengal.

Kolkata in particular has the potential to become the hub of MICE tourism thanks to its low cost of operations, rich culture, heritage, lineage of art and poetry, proximity to South East Asia, he said.

He said the state and Central government should come together for development of tourism and generate income and employment.

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