Friday, May 25, 2012
Khushboo campaign led to 25% rise in foreign tourists: Govt.
AHMEDABAD: Khushboo Gujarat Ki campaign featuring Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan and promoting Gujarat as a tourism destination, propelled the international tourists arrival by 26% to 1.75 lakh, a senior official of state Tourism department said. Intra-state tourists arrivals too rose by 14.04% to 1.72 crore in 2011-12.
The campaign showcased the Gir forest, the only habitat for Asiatic lions in the world, Dhordo Rann, famous for white sand and Mandvi beach in Kutch under the catch line of 'Kutch Nahi Dekha To Koochh Nahi Dekha'; Somnath Temple under the tag line 'Aapne Matha Teka Somnath Main?' and the Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad. The campaign was prepared by advertisement agency Ogilvy & Mather.
According to a data released by Gujarat Industrial & Technical Consultancy Organisation Limited (GITCO), the number of tourists rose to 1.98 crore in 2010-11 and to 2.23 crore in 2011-12 from 1.70 crore in 2009-10.
"The year 2010-11 saw a rise of 28 lakh tourists while the year 2011-12 saw a rise of 25 lakh tourists. Tourism industry growth in the state is twice that of national average," said Vipul Mitra, state principal secretary of Tourism and Aviation department.
The arrival of non-resident Indian (NRI) tourists rose 10.89% to 2.85 lakhs while those from other states rose 8.56% to 47.28 lakhs in 2011-12.
The data was prepared on the basis of actual field data of hotel occupancy rate in the state, particularly night stay by the guests. Recently, the advertisement also featured on Delhi metro to showcase the tourism potential of the state.
Apart from the ad campaign, tourism department road-shows in the metros like Mumbai and Kolkata and hosted festivals like Saputara Monsoon festival, Rannotsav (Desert Festival), Patangotsav (Kite Festivals) and events like bird watchers conference. The state government is also upgrading infrastructure facilities and increasing entertainment. Such hubs include Ahmedabad Metro, Ahmedabad Rural (north Gujarat), Surat (south Gujarat), Vadodara (central Gujarat), Rajkot, Junagadh & Jamnagar (Saurashtra) and Bhuj (Kutch).
Gujarat will unveil a 15-year strategy to promote Gujarat as a tourist destination. It will rope in consultants to prepare a vision document for leveraging the strengths of Gujarat in the sector. The government is also making efforts to promote the state as a destination for shooting of Hollywood and Bollywood films. It has also set up a stall at ongoing Cannes Film Festival. A special cell is also created at Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Ltd (TCGL) to handle and coordinate film shooting at various location in the state.
The state government wants tourism sector to be the largest contributor to its Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) by 2025. Manufacturing and agriculture are major contributors to the GSDP as of now.