‘State has potential to lead as tourist destination, only needs marketing’
Punjab tourism and cultural affairs minister Navjot Singh Sidhu on Thursday said Punjab has a huge potential for tourism but it needs aggressive marketing.
In his address during the National Tourism Conclave, Sidhu said tourism and culture could act as a catalyst for growth and development of the state. “Punjab has immense potential to emerge as a tourism hotspot but the need of the hour is to properly market its rich heritage,” he said.
“Over 1 lakh tourists visit the Golden Temple every day, but there is a need to extend their stay in the state for a few more days. And for this, there is a need to create infrastructure,” he said.
Citing an example that coronation of Emperor Akbar took place in Kalanaur in Gurdaspur, Sidhu said Punjab was full of such locations to which many stories from history are connected. He suggested landscaping and setting up of cafeterias at all locations of historical importance. He also underlined the importance of promoting rural tourism which would lead to the emergence of rural areas of the state on the world map.
Focusing on medical tourism as the core area, the minister said that if two or three hospitals are build in historically significant spots, including Amritsar, then it would contribute hugely to the strengthening of economic infrastructure of the state.
“NRIs from Punjab are emotionally connected to their home state Punjab, and the need was to help them connect back to their roots,” said the minister.
Also present were actress Deepa Sahi, whose Mayanagri Company renovated the Gobindgarh Fort in Amritsar, filmmaker Ketan Mehta, Albert Sole of the World Bank Group, Bhavik Rathour of UberEats and Sanjay Bhatia, chairman, Mumbai Port Trust.
Tourism and cultural affairs minister Navjot Singh Sidhu