JOY ROY CHOUDHURY – Kolkata
The Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI), has announced the setting up of its ‘fourth chapter’ in West Bengal and the North-eastern states. A high-level team comprising the office-bearers and executive committee members headed by Subhash Verma, president, ADTOI visited Kolkata recently to announce the setting up of the chapter. The other state chapters are in Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala and Gujarat.
Speaking to Express TravelWorld, Verma said: “The eastern and north-east states of India have a marked individuality and uniqueness of its own. It is a paradise where we can witness the beauty and variety of India. But its tourism treasures have not been well projected in the domestic and international arena. So, ADTOI has set up this new state chapter to market this region professionally and create more awareness among the tourists about the region.” He added that West Bengal and the north-east can easily attract more domestic and foreign tourists if its strengths are marketed properly.
But at the same time, he pointed out, the states also need to concentrate on creation of quality tourism infrastructure in order to attract more tourists as infrastructure bottlenecks have often hampered the growth of tourist arrivals into the region.
Rajat Sawhney, general secretary, ADTOI said, “It is an irony that inspite of its tourism strengths, the East and the North-East have failed to make a significant impact on the tourism map of the country. Lack of knowledge and awareness among the tourists about the region beyond few states is one of the prime reasons behind this. We felt it necessary on our part to set up the new chapter which will definitely help in proper marketing and dissemination of information about the exotic destinations of the region and thus help in the growth of the industry.”
Commenting on the latest development, Debjit Dutta, chairman -ADTOI, West Bengal and North-East chapter said, “Till date North East India has only been promoted with few conventional seasonal destinations for the price sensitive mass domestic market and not been properly marketed due to lack of awareness about the different circuits. That is the reason why 80 per cent of the destinations of the region are still unexplored. Apart from few destinations for masses our target is also to promote it as an unexplored region for classes.”
There will be now more focused activities in terms of promotion, development and support in West Bengal and North East India and better co-ordination with the state tourism agencies. This chapter will also act as a support centre for the 550 members of ADTOI across the county and will provide enhanced marketing opportunities for the members of the region.
Raghvendra Singh, principal secretary, department of tourism, Government of West Bengal welcomed the setting up of the new chapter and promised to extend all support and cooperation to the association.