Pun­jab adds flavour to Am­rit­sar tours

The agrar­ian state’s tourism board has cho­sen Am­rit­sar to be its flag­ship tourist des­ti­na­tion and has cre­ated mul­ti­ple prod­ucts around the Golden Tem­ple to re­tain the huge vis­i­tor num­bers and con­vert them into overnighters. Over and above, Pun­jab Tourism

Travel Talk - India - - STATES - HAZEL JAIN

Pun­jab has been so far one of In­dia’s best-kept tourism se­crets, jokes Shiv­du­lar

Singh Dhillon, Spe­cial Sec­re­tary and Di­rec­tor, Depart­ment of Tourism, Cul­tural Af­fairs, Arche­ol­ogy, Mu­se­ums & Ar­chives, Pun­jab and CEO, Pun­jab Her­itage & Tourism Pro­mo­tion Board.

“It is time we re­veal it to the rest of In­dia and the world. We have cre­ated a lot of in­fras­truc­ture in and around Am­rit­sar Shiv­du­lar Singh Dhillon

Spe­cial Sec­re­tary and Di­rec­tor, Depart­ment of Tourism, Cul­tural Af­fairs, Arche­ol­ogy, Mu­se­ums & Ar­chives, Pun­jab and CEO, Pun­jab Her­itage & Tourism Pro­mo­tion Board to cap­ture the traffic the city al­ready re­ceives. We have de­vel­oped a her­itage street that leads up to the Golden Tem­ple. As you cross the old Town Hall Build­ing, go to­wards Jal­lian­wala Bagh and then up to the Golden Tem­ple, you’ll

see bright lamp posts, stat­ues and foun­tains in the back­drop of build­ings rem­i­nis­cent of Mughal and Ra­jputana ar­chi­tec­ture,” Dhillon says.

His depart­ment has spent about `200 crore in cre­at­ing this, which is money spent well since the num­ber of vis­i­tors to the iconic Golden Tem­ple has gone up ex­po­nen­tially after this upgrade. “The to­tal num­ber of vis­i­tors per day to the tem­ple has touched 100,000. Even if you sub­tract the devo­tees, it still leaves us with 50,000 tourists per day. To re­tain them in

the city, we have de­vel­oped a lot of good ho­tels nearby. We have also de­vel­oped farm tourism and have come up with farm stays in the out­skirts. Agri­cul­ture has been Pun­jab’s back­bone, so what bet­ter place than here to cre­ate this ex­pe­ri­ence?” Dhillon says.

The depart­ment has so far au­tho­rised 60-plus prop­er­ties

for farm stays. “We have also just signed an MoU with MakeMyTrip so all these farm stays and B&B are on­line for ev­ery­one to book. Trav­ellers don’t look at Pun­jab as a tourist des­ti­na­tion and this per­cep­tion will change now. We need to work smart and lever­age on things and the con­se­quen­tial cas­cad­ing ef­fects will come,” Dhillon adds.

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