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Gujarat eyes six cr tourists by 2020; to tap young travellers

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Gujarat is eyeing over six crore tourist footfalls in the state by 2020 on the back of promotions and is mainly targeting the youth looking at short vacations. The western state is looking at a whole range of tourist activities to achieve the target. “Last year, we received 4.2 crore tourists in Gujarat. We have set a target of six crore footfalls by 2020 for which we are promoting our festivals and developing new destinations. Our main focus segment is the young people with spending power who go for short vacations,” said Jenu Devan, MD, Tourism Corporation of Gujarat. He said for the youth, Gujarat offers a host of attractions, including adventure, eco tourism, beach, festivals, heritage and border tourism.

Foreign tourists comprise only two per cent of the overall visitor footfalls in Gujarat, he said. “We are promoting Gujarat on the international platform, including Italy, east Europe, Japan and South Korea among others. “We are hoping to increase the inbound tourist footfalls to five per cent by end of 2020,” he said adding the state will continue to strengthen its top source markets, the US and the UK.

Gujarat has attracted over INR 9,000-crore investments for 220 tourism-related projects, the official said. The government spends INR 200 core every year for promotion and branding of Gujarat tourism at various domestic and global platforms, Devan said, adding that Gujarat tourism is targeting metro cities like Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad besides Tier II places like Pune and Indore, where there is a high level of young working population with good spending power.

“We are looking at a mix of Tier I and II cities, which have a good young population with spending power,” he said. Devan also said Gujarat is developing two new circuits – heritage and Buddhist – to add to the existing offers for holiday-makers. “Besides we are also mulling over creating several other circuits like Jain, Sufi and tribal,” Devan added. The state is also bullish on medical tourism and Bollywood, for which the tourism department will facilitate support in terms of incentives, including single clearance window and transport, among others, Devan said.