With the Government of India paying a lot of attention on showcasing the best and amazing picture of the country to the world at large through Incredible India campaign, tourism sector has acquired an unprecedented significance. At the same time, technological innovations are playing an important role to bring transformation in the tourism sector, especially in the age of ‘Smart Cities’ and ‘Digital India’ mission. And, Punjab is no exception.
As the rich and vibrant culture of Punjab has been a charm among foreign tourists, the Government of Punjab is steadily working on improving its tourism sector.
Our magazine’s latest issue has tried to explore the developments and progress is being made in various sectors directly or indirectly linked to tourism sector, chiefly of Punjab. We hope it would facilitate to understand how tourism related activities affect various aspects such employability and nation’s economic growth as well.
The Cover Story – Celebrating Smart Tourism in Punjab – is an endeavour to understand all this and many more dimensions of Punjab. In the era of Smart Cities, how tourism sector is evolving with more and more use of technology is also being highlighted in the story. The magazine has aimed to collect the worldview of key policymakers of Punjab tourism like Jaspal Singh, Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Government of Punjab; Basanta Rajkumar, Executive Director, Punjab Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs; Shivdular Dhillon, CEO, Punjab Heritage Tourism Promotion Board.
The plans to transform the birthplace of Khalsa, Amritsar, have been highlighted by the Commissioner, Amritsar, Amit Sharma. A special feature on upcoming tourist destination of Punjab-Jalandhar-by Basant Garg, Commissioner, Jalandhar Municipal Corporation, offers perspective of a policymaker.
This special issue is being launched during ‘Elets National Tourism Conclave’, organised by the Department of Tourism & Cultural Affairs, Government of Punjab, as host partner. The conclave aims to congregate the policy makers from across Punjab and India related to tourism sector, along with international experts and tourism industry stakeholders to discuss the scope, challenges and vision of tourism.
We have also tried to capture a glimpse of Andhra Pradesh–the Sunrise State of India, to explore how the southern State is also becoming one of foreigners’ preferred tourist destinations. Also, the magazine features perspective of Smart Cities projects being undertaken in different cities of the country; Anirudh Sravan, CEO and MD of Tumakuru Smart City Ltd and Davanagere Smart City Ltd; and Awanish Kumar Sharan, District Magistrate, Balrampur, Chhattisgarh sharing their views through interviews. The issue has also focused on highlighting various IT initiatives being undertaken in the state of Odisha through the special interview of Ashok Kumar Meena, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Electronics & IT Department of Odisha.
As India is steadily contributing to the rebuilding of war-affected Afghanistan, Dr Shaida Mohammad Abdali, Ambassador of Afghanistan to India, features in this issue, offering an insight into steadily consolidating India-Afghan bilateral relations.
With the latest bouquet of stories, interviews and features we hope it would invite readers’ precious feedback.