Millennium Post

Kolkata a major tourist hub during Durga Puja; state keen to promote homestays: Deb

Kolkata: Kolkata has emerged as a major tourist hub during the Durga Puja for the past few years as has been indicated by the occupancy rate in Kolkata's hotels.

On Wednesday, during the 35th annual convention of the Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), state Tourism minister Goutam Deb and Tourism Secretary Atri Bhattacharya stated that it has been observed that for the past few years, the hotel occupancy rate during Durga Puja has increased by 8-9 percent, which indicates that the measures taken to popularise Bengal's famous festival across the globe have been quite successful. Many people from other countries visit Kolkata during the Puja days.

Apart from this, Deb also announced that the state government is emphasising on promoting homestays in North Bengal. For several years now, the state government has developed many unconventional tourist destinations in North Bengal and started a new concept of homestays. According to the minister, at present, around 3,000 homestays exist in North Bengal. However, the state government wants to promote such unconventional tourist spots as it would help to create more jobs in those areas.

"Our government is supporting the homestay industry to develop their destination points," said Deb.

The minister also informed that the state government is mulling to create a tourist destination at Piyali in the Sunderbans soon.

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