Gu­jarat drives her­itage & cul­ture cir­cuit

TravTalk - India - - STATES - ANKITA SAX­ENA

Gu­jarat Tourism has un­der­taken projects to en­hance its her­itage and cul­tural re­sources. With new cir­cuits like Dandi Her­itage Cir­cuit, Bud­dhist Cir­cuit and ini­tia­tives like border tourism un­der­way, the state is striv­ing hard to be­come the most favourable tourist des­ti­na­tion in the coun­try.

In the year 2017, Gu­jarat re­ceived 4.5 crore tourists, reg­is­ter­ing a growth of 17 per cent over the pre­vi­ous year, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures shared by the Min­istry of Tourism. Out of the to­tal num­ber of tourists, 98 per cent were do­mes­tic while two per cent were in­ter­na­tional, in­forms Jenu Deven, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Gu­jarat Tourism De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (GTDC) and Com­mis­sioner of Tourism, Gov­ern­ment of Gu­jarat.

Deven points out that the state tourism department has made in­vest­ments in al­most ev­ery sec­tor to of­fer world-class tourism in­fra­struc­ture, up­grade ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties and en­hance the vis­i­tor ex­pe­ri­ence. The ma­jor source mar­kets for the state are the US, UK and Canada and the state is also tar­get­ing the source mar­kets from where tourists are vis­it­ing other states in In­dia.

“The state tourism department has been mak­ing in­vest­ments to the tune of

` 200-250 crore per year for tourism. We are fo­cus­ing on her­itage and cul­ture of the state. The Rann of Kutch this year was a grand suc­cess which re­ceived a large num­ber of tourists both do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional. Var­i­ous cir­cuits un­der the Prasad and Swadesh Darshan Scheme have also been boosted,” says Deven.

We are plan­ning to a sus­tain­able unit based on so­lar en­ergy and make it a world-class tourist at­trac­tion

In order to of­fer the world a glimpse into the life and teach­ing of Ma­hatma Gandhi, a Dandi Her­itage cir­cuit is un­der­way. “We want to en­hance this cir­cuit and ex­tend it to the Dandi beach at Navsari. Apart from the ba­sic in­fra­struc­ture avail­able at des­ti­na­tions like Ra­jkot, Ahmed­abad and Sabar­mati Ashram, a Dandi Mu­seum will be made to show­case the phi­los­o­phy and teach­ing of the Ma­hatma. Gu­jarat is also home to Bud­dhism and to en­hance this seg­ment, we have iden­ti­fied some places like Ju­na­garh, Gir, Som­nath and Bhav­na­gar un­der the Bud­dhist Cir­cuit and no­ti­fied the same un­der the Swadesh Darshan Scheme. We plan to of­fer a Bud­dhist com­plex to show­case im­por­tant spir­i­tual sites and tra­di­tions.” Deven be­lieves that this cir­cuit will be a pop­u­lar at­trac­tion for tourists from East Asia.

The ini­tia­tive of border tourism at Nad­abet in Banas Kan­tha district in Gu­jarat has also picked up well, opines Deven. He points out that the re­mains of In­dus Val­ley Civil­i­sa­tion in Gu­jarat are also of tourist in­ter­est. “A mu­seum is be­ing up­graded to show­case In­dus Val­ley cul­ture and in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Min­istry of Ship­ping, a Na­tional Mar­itime Her­itage Com­plex is also un­der­way. The Mod­hera vil­lage, which houses the famed Sun Tem­ple, is be­ing up­graded. We are plan­ning to turn Mod­hera into a sus­tain­able unit based on so­lar en­ergy and into a world-class tourist at­trac­tion.” The state is also con­sid­er­ing de­vel­op­ing niche tourism prod­ucts like golf tourism. Gu­jarat is also pro­mot­ing film tourism. “For this, we al­ready have a film board in place which works as a fa­cil­i­ta­tor to var­i­ous film mak­ers and at­tempts to make the pro­ce­dures sim­pler to shoot in the state,” adds Deven.

The state of Gu­jarat is proac­tively par­tic­i­pat­ing in all ma­jor travel trade shows at do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional plat­forms like ITM, ITB Ber­lin, WTM, etc. “We are go­ing out to meet the tour op­er­a­tors and travel agents both In­dian and in­ter­na­tional, and are de­vis­ing strate­gies to im­prove tourist num­bers to the state,” adds Deven.

Jenu Deven Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor, Gu­jarat Tourism De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (GTDC)

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