JOY ROY CHOUDHURY – Kolkata
West Bengal despite its rich and diversified tourist attractions has failed to emerge as a sought-after destination for inbound tourists. Lack of a concerted branding and marketing exercise is often considered as the responsible factor. Recently, the key players and experts of the state’s inbound tourism fraternity took an initiative to form an exclusive platform to address the issue. The Inbound Tour Operators Council (ITOC), an umbrella organisation of inbound tour operators has been formed with a 11-member board to focus on the global positioning of West Bengal and sustainable tourism development in the state. “Our main focus will be to promote brand Bengal to the world,” said Suddhabrata Deb, president, ITOC.
“Earlier, we used to promote Bengal individually in our own limited way, but now we will do it under the banner of ITOC. This will give a much need fillip and thrust to our efforts,” added Debjit Dutta, director on the board of ITOC. Talking about the priorities for ITOC, R Sushila, another director said, “Our task will be to spot/shortlist/develop impactful products for the international market and to encourage the micro-level service providers in inbound travel as well as to build up their capacity to receive foreign tourists.”