Kolkata: The Mamata Banerjee government has chalked out elaborate plans to showcase the diversified tourism potential of Bengal centering the Under 17 FIFA World Cup.
"There will be a huge footfall of foreign tourists with as many as 10 matches being hosted in Kolkata. We do not want to miss the opportunity and our aim is to elevate Bengal tourism among the very best in the world map. There will be customised package tours for the tourists in air conditioned Volvo buses with audio guides in six foreign languages, special kind of hospitality arrangements at the hotels where they will put up and many more so that they are at complete ease and can enjoy their stint in the city," a top official of the state Tourism department said.
The state tourism will be branded in a big way at the two major airports — Kolkata and Bagdogra — and the four major railway stations in the state namely Howrah, Sealdah, Kolkata and New Jalpaiguri. "We are setting up kiosks of international standards to welcome the tourists when they arrive in the city. There will be display points, selfie points and other informative stuff pertaining to their hospitality," the official said.
The department is also coming up with international standard kiosks at the top hotels that has been already booked for the team members, coaches, office bearers, foreign journalists from as many as 250 media houses and others who will be arriving for the World Cup scheduled from October 8 to 28.As many as four teams Mexico, Spain, England and Iraq will be permanently staying in Kolkata as most of their matches are scheduled here. Two other teams, Japan and New Caledonia will also come for playing in the city. Most importantly Brazil, which is one of the best teams, will be playing the semi-final match in Kolkata if they win the group stage.
"We are providing special training in soft skill development to people who are willing to act as guides for the foreign tourists during their stay in the city. They will be taught key words in some foreign languages by the Ramkrishna Mission Institute of Culture at Golpark," the official said.
The department is preparing audio jingles in six languages Spanish, Japanese, English, German, French and Portuguese to felicitate the tourists as they move along in the AC Volvo buses. Special tour packages by the West Bengal State Tourism Development Corporation will be on offer for the tourists so that they can explore the heritage and the rich culture of Bengal.
"Tourism is a sector that contributes immensely to the growth of a state's economy and this is a golden opportunity for us," the official added.