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Gujarat plans to create MICE locations and adventure travel circuits

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Gujarat Tourism plans to identify MICE destinations and adventure circuits to attract the corporate groups and young travellers. Speaking to Express TravelWorld at a recent event in Bhubaneswar, Jenu Devan, managing director and commissioner, Gujarat Tourism, informed, “We are currently offering the Saurashtra circuit, but soon we will also come up with shorter ones for travellers who wish to spend one or two days in Gujarat. We will ensure that when we are trying to come up with new circuits, they have sufficient accommodation facilities. For MICE groups, we will be pushing Ahmedabad, Surat and Baroda. While Ahmedabad has sufficient hotels and convention centres, our tourism policy provides lucrative investment opportunities in other two locations.”

Commenting on building other tourism circuits, Devan mentioned, “Even the central government has sponsored places under the Swadesh Darshan Scheme. We will be promoting the Gandhi Circuit and are in the process of building the infrastructure of the area. We will also be looking at promoting some parts of northern Gujarat. In future we may also work on Buddhist circuits, Jain circuits, or tribal tourism in other unique locations.”

Marketing initiatives have been a major part of branding Gujarat and Devan discussed the importance of promotions. He stated, “The major role of the state tourism boards is to set up the infrastructure and market the products. Tour operators and travel agents may not have sufficient funds to invest in such promotional activities for a particular state. They may be able to showcase our products, but it is our responsibility to market the destination in both domestic as well as international markets. Now almost every state is active and is competing with each other to sell its products. They have realised that tourism has real potential in terms of investment and employment opportunities. Everybody has become active in promotions through various kinds of modes.”

He added, “But there are challenges as most of the states are only able to attract domestic tourists. The silver lining is that the numbers are growing. Our focus now lies on the foreign tourists. the share of foreign tourist arrivals needs to increase in order to have actual growth. We are looking at the budding spots that have showcased potential to attract large number of people. After doing indepth research and seeing other states, we are looking at developing more experiential travel products. We are now coming up with a strategy to market activities like bird watching, unique beaches, adventure tourism, national parks, unique areas, hills etc.”