KOLKATA: Hoping that domestic tourism will drive India’s economy in the normal Covid era, several states are now banking on the wanderlust of Bengal tourists. Representatives from 20 Indian states and union territories converged in Kolkata to take part in a three-day tourism fair in Milan Mela Prangan off Bypass showcasing the new, traditional and quirky tourist attractions of their States to woo travelers from the State.
Since the pandemic, tourists from the state have flooded Kashmir, Rajasthan, Goa, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Kerala.
Known for generating the second highest tourist traffic in the country after Gujarat, Bengal since Covid and especially this summer has climbed to the top spot with travelers unalarmed by rising Covid cases as numbers continue to be under control in Bengal.
“Bengal people are known to travel. They were also among the first to start revenge tourism immediately after the easing of restrictions began in the second half of 2020. To beat the pandemic blues, we had started promoting aas-paas tourism to attract tourists from neighboring Maharashtra, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. . But exceeding our expectations, we have had a large number of Bengali tourists visiting the MP over the past few months,” said Yuvraj Padole, Deputy Director of Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board.
Anujit Mukherjee, deputy director of Tourism Corporation of Gujarat, said: “Our state has been hit hard by Covid but we have recovered well by banking on tourists, many of whom came from Bengal.”
Representatives from Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Jharkhand and Tripura were also present at the fair.
“Domestic travel and air passengers are higher than before in 2019 and hotel occupancy has also increased. International travel is somewhat restricted but is picking up very quickly,” said Sanjiv Agarwal, Chief Executive Officer from Fairfest Media, the organizer of TTF.
“In 2019, Maldives had recorded about 20 lakh Indian tourists, but between January and June this year, we have already received 7.5 lakh Indian tourists. said Ram Krishna Jaiswal, Honorary Consul of the Republic of Maldives.