No. PR – 149
November 27th, 2021
West Bengal can be the ideal gateway to South East Asia for promoting Cross Border Tourism
With a view to explore the tourism potential in and across various districts of India and to create awareness about the lesser-known destinations across the country, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) launched its Border Tourism Webinar Series. The 12th webinar in the series held on 26 November 2021 focused on Murshidabad District for the promotion of Border Tourism in West Bengal. The webinar was supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
Ms. Rupinder Brar (IRS), Additional Director General – Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, mentioned that geographically, West Bengal is placed very beautifully and is enriched with rich heritage and culture. It is also a very important state for promotion of cross border tourism with the South East Asian countries. Ministry of Tourism is doing lot of activities for the development of human resource, skill development and capacity building. Through the Incredible India Tourist Facilitator (IITF) Certification Programme, an E-market place is under development that will add new opportunities for the stakeholders in tourism sector.
Mr. Vinod Zutshi (Retd. IAS), Former Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, said that West Bengal is one of the states whose tourism potential is still untapped. The railway routes running especially through the remote regions of West Bengal are well made, but there is scope for establishment of more air strips for better connectivity via UDAN Scheme. He also emphasized on promoting Heli Tourism in the border areas of West Bengal as it is well connected with Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
Mr. Debjit Dutta, Chairman – West Bengal Chapter, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), mentioned that from the mountains of Himalayas to the mangroves of Sundarbans, diversity is the key selling point of West Bengal. Almost 80% of the state is still unexplored, therefore there is a need to brand and market these destinations. Cursing on River Ganges is one of the top 10 cruising experiences in the world said Mr. Dutta. He emphasized that cross-border tourism opportunities are plenty for West Bengal as it shares its borders with Nepal, Bhutan & Bangladesh.
Mr. Darshan Dudhoria, Co-Owner, Bari Kothi Azimganj, said that in the 1700s, Murshidabad contributed to almost 5% GDP in the world. However, it went down after Kolkata became the capital of the state during the British rule. Murshidabad is the heritage hub of Bengal filled with great stories and tangible as well as intangible heritage. The tourism policies in the state have to be conducive involving the local communities then only investment will increase.
In his Presidential Address, Mr. Pradeep Multani, President, PHDCCI, mentioned that post pandemic, tourists are looking at exploring lesser known destinations across the country and Murshidabad can be an ideal option for them with so much of history and culture associated with it. Border Tourism Webinar Series will continue and PHDCCI would work towards showcasing the tourism potential of the diverse and untouched border districts of India.
Mr. Pawan S. Jain, Chair– Tourism & Hospitality Committee, PHDCCI, said that with the support of the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and respective State Tourism Boards, the Tourism & Hospitality Committee of PHDCCI has launched the Border Tourism Webinar Series in the month of June 2021. PHDCCI is committed to create such meaningful platforms to do its bit in enabling all the parameters of the tourism industry to grow and flourish further.
Mr. Rajan Sehgal, Co-Chair– Tourism & Hospitality Committee, PHDCCI, proposed the formal vote of thanks. The webinar was moderated by Dr. Yogesh Srivastav, Assistant Secretary General, PHDCCI and received participation of more than 100 delegates including senior government officials, travel agents, tour operators, hoteliers, tour guides, airline professionals, travel associations and students from the travel and hospitality institutes. The webinar was also live on YouTube with a viewership of more than 500 delegates.
The next webinar with Focus State – Himachal Pradesh is scheduled for 3 December 2021 from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM and shall focus on the districts of Lahaul & Spiti.
PHDCCI’s webinar was supported by Annual Sponsors such as, Multani Pharmaceuticals Limited; P G Industry; Uflex Ltd; DLF Limited; Continental Carriers Pvt Ltd; Belair Travel & Cargo Pvt Ltd; Radico Khaitan Limited, Paramount Communications; Superior Industries Limited; JK Tyre & Industries Ltd; Comtech Interio; R E Rogers; Apeejay Stya Group; EaseMyTrip; Blossom Kochhar Beauty Products Pvt Ltd; MV Cotspin Ltd; Synergy Environics Ltd; Ajit Industries Pvt Ltd; P S BEDI & Co.; Indian Farmer & Fertilizers Corporation Ltd; Jindal Steel; Hindware Sanitary; Modern Automobiles.
PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry