JOY ROY CHOUDHURY – Kolkata
In an effort to attract domestic tourists, during the Durga Puja, the West Bengal Tourism Department plans to hold roadshows in major cities and metros of the country. Speaking exclusively to Express TravelWorld, Vikram Sen, principal secretary, Department of Tourism, Government of West Bengal said, “We will be holding a series of roadshows in major cities and metros like Ahmedabad, Bangaluru, Delhi, Mumbai and others from July onwards to attract tourists to Bengal during the Durga Puja celebrations in October this year.”
Efforts are also on to draw tourists from Bangkok, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and other neighbouring countries with the help of various central and foreign agencies, a Tourism Department official said. “We are trying to make Durga Puja the most happening event and increase the footfall of tourists as more tourists will open up sources of income for many people here,” he added.
Bengal’s biggest festival, Durga Puja, which will begin in early October this year, is a four-day melange of fun and devotion bringing everything else in the entire state to a standstill. Some of the packages already planned for the tourists include visits to major Puja pandals and those of century-old pujas conducted by renowned families of the city, celebrating Pujas on the Ganges and a river cruise connecting Belur Math, Dakshineswar and the world famous Botanical Gardens.
Also on offer would be a huge spread of mouth-watering Bengali dishes and deserts. Mamata Banerjee, the state chief minister is herself coordinating the efforts and is keeping a tab on the initiatives. The Tourism Department is in the process of meeting different tour operators, hotel owners and different transport agencies, besides several other government departments to put up a coordinated effort.