- BAGGED 5 PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS IN VARIOUS CATEGORIES
- GOI SELECTED PUNJAB FOR ‘MOST PROGRESSIVE STATE FOR TOURISM’ AWARD
NewZNew (Chandigarh) : The land of five rivers and yellow field ‘Punjab’ has emerged as the most favourite tourist destination in India in the year 2014. Tourism sector was the one field which earned Punjab state National as well as the International fame under the stewardship of Mr. Sohan Singh Thandal, Tourism Minster, Punjab. The advancement of Punjab in the tourism sector caught the fancy of GoI as on September 17 Punjab State bagged the coveted ‘Most Progressive State for Tourism’ award. Union Minister for Tourism and Culture, Mr Shripad Yesso Naik conferred the award to Mr. Sohan Singh Thandal Minister for Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Punjab, in an impressive ceremony held at Ashoka Hotel, New Delhi.
Punjab had undisputedly been selected from among the other states of the country as the most sought after destination amongst the tourism circles of the country and has been able to surpass popular tourist states like J&K, Kerala, Gujarat, and Rajasthan due to visionary pro- tourist policies adopted by the State.
After having received the ‘Most Progressive State for Tourism’ award in the same month on September Punjab again hit the National Headlines when it was selected as the “Best Rural Tourism Initiative Award for the Farm Tourism” at International Tourism Conclave & Travel Awards (ITCTA) held in Shimla to mark World Tourism Day. This award was conferred to Punjab for making distinguished efforts for popularizing Farm Tourism to enable the tourists from across the globe to enjoy rustic way of life in the interiors of Punjab. 17 Farm Houses were specially set up by the Punjab Government for this purpose which has been extending boarding and lodgings in the natural rustic atmosphere.
In this year Punjab was won other three prestigious awards like Most innovative Marketing Award by 10th Hospitality India Awards, Most Progressive Trade Marketing Award by India Travel Awards, North and Best spiritual tourism destination By Travel and Leisure Magazine.
Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board, the steering arm of state tourism has worked towards the increase of tourist inflow to Punjab through various activities. The Tourist arrivals in Punjab have increased from 16.5 million tourists in 2011 to 19.1 million in 2012 and 21.5 million in the year 2013. The quick figure of 2014 from Jan till March has already recorded 5.1 million tourists which is good signal. The constant growth in tourism has to lead to good business in the state. Tourism industry is the largest employment generator giving direct and indirect employment to people in state.
As per the recent findings of Asian Development Bank, the average length of stay of domestic tourist in Punjab is 3.3 nights and average daily spend is 36.9 USD. The average length of stay for international tourism is 2.5 nights and average daily spends of 117.1 USD. With overall revenue to state government is 20%. Going by this finding government revenue to state of Punjab through tourism is over 3000 crore in the year 2013. This revenue is tax and non-tax collection based from all sources where a tourist spends during the visit example, hotel, transport, food, shopping etc.
As per the data receive from the international tourism journal the important places which were most sought after in Punjab Golden Temple, Durgiana Mandir, Jallianwala bagh in Amritsar; Takhat Sri Kesgarh Sahib and Khalsa Heritage Complex at Anandpur Sahib; Bhakra Dam, Qila Androon and Moti Bagh Palace at Patiala; Wetland at Harike Pattan. Aam Khas Bhag at Fatehgarh Sahib, Ramgarh Fort at Amritsar. The ruling SAD-BJP combine in Punjab has also constructed various monuments in commemoration of warriors, Religious saints and Sikh Gurus. In this regard special mention can be made of Wadda Ghallughara memorial at Kup Rahira, Chota Ghallughara memorial at Kahanuwan, Baba Banda Singh memorial at Chapparchiri. The war memorial at Kartarpur and Memorial in commemoration of Guru Ravidass at Khuralgarh are under construction which would surely attract more and more tourists from the country.