Bengal tourism: Travellers to get reward for sharing experiences
Kolkata: In a unique move, the West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation (WBTDCL) has decided to reward those travellers who will stay at the resorts of the state Tourism department during their tour and will share their experiences of their stint in the resort.
"People touring different parts of the state or the country or abroad has a knack of sharing their experiences on social networking sites or on different travel websites and tour operators. Based on their staying experience in hotels or resorts travellers are encouraged to explore these places. We have decided to reward those people who will shower praises for our resorts," a senior official of the WBTDCL said.
Tanmoy Chakraborty, managing director of WBTDCL, said the reward will be either in the form of cashback or in the form of attractive discount in the next tour of the client when he books a government resort. The WBTDCL has its Facebook and Twitter page too through which a visitor can share his opinion and there is a dedicated team of officers who keeps constant track of such posts. "The email id of the managing director and general manager (operations) are mentioned in the reception of every resort. Customers can always send their feedback or experience in the email which will reach us directly and we will keep a record," Chakraborty said.
The form of reward will be finalised by next month and will be put on the website of the state Tourism department.
The state Tourism department has already begun work for renovation of all its tourist resorts which will match the facilities available in five-star hotels. "Chefs from the tourist resorts will be trained by well-known chefs of star hotels. This will equip them to serve continental and Chinese dishes too if there is a demand from the tourists," a senior official said.
After storming to power in 2011, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's aggressive promotion of Bengal as an ideal tourist destination has certainly borne fruit.
In 2015, Bengal witnessed an increase of 1.15 lakh foreign tourists compared to 2014. In attracting foreign tourists, Bengal is ahead of Rajasthan, Kerala, Goa and Karnataka. Banerjee has herself travelled extensively across the state and is acquainted with virtually every block. She always regretted the fact that the geographical and topographical diversity of the state was not adequately exploited for promotion of tourism. "Bengal has high peaks of the Himalayas in the north and a sea in the south; it has plains and plateaux; it also has jungles and rivers," Banerjee has frequently said.
She also made Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan as the brand ambassador of Bengal in 2012 and King Khan has shot a series of promotional campaigns, titled "Experience Bengal — Sweetest Part of India".
While traditional tourist spots like Santiniketan, Sundarbans, Doars, Darjeeling, Murshidabad and Bankura had been given a boost, the Bengal government has also developed some offbeat places on the tourism map.
"The traditional tourist spots have become congested. The foreigners come to visit Bengal and want to board and lodge with locals so that they can get a first-hand feel of the regional customs and culture and relish the local cuisine. So we have developed homestays at many places, particularly in North Bengal and the Sunderbans which have been receiving tremendous response both from domestic and foreign travellers."