To realise the full potential of tourism in Punjab, the State Government needs to focus on innovative marketing campaigns, feels Navjot Singh Sidhu, Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Government of Punjab, while speaking at the National Tourism Conclave held in Chandigarh today.
“Around 90 lakh people visit India annually. Out of this, more than 20 lakh people come to visit Taj Mahal every year. Now if we talk about the Darbar Sahib (also known as the Golden Temple), more than 1.20 lakh people visit there everyday. Out of this, one lakh people are from outside Punjab only. To increase tourism, we need to provide infrastructure to these tourists,” said Sidhu while inaugurating the one-of-its-kind tourism conclave.
The Conclave organised by the Government of Punjab in association with Elets Technomedia Private Limited, a technology and media reasearch based company, saw congregation of policymakers and industry giants who pondered over different aspects of Smart Tourism in India.
A special issue of eGov magazine, Asia’s first monthly magazine on e-governance, was also launched by Sidhu at the event.
“We have no dearth of destinations. We have the Golden Temple, the Jallianwala bagh, food street, etc, which are already very popular. We need to popularise stories around these historical places,” he added.
While acknowleding the growing medical tourism in India, Sidhu noted that “medical facilities available in US for Rs 15 lakhs are available in India at a cost of Rs 15,000 only.” Hence, building medical infrastructure, especially in the State of Punjab will help tourism grow.
Sidhu specifically mentioned the need to build state-of-the-art hospitals in Amritsar so that they in turn can help the eocnomy of Punjab grow.
“Anybody, irrespective of their religion, can visit the Golden Temple. It radiates the spirit of our constitution .i.e. no discrimination on the basis of caste and creed. Punjab has rich heritage of Sikh Gurus. We have given the world Green and White Revolution. So we can easily reach new heights in tourism as well,” he said.