Bengal putting special emphasis on tourism: Mamata

Kolkata, Jan 8 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday highlighted tourism as a focus area, as state-owned firms pitched a total financial commitment exceeding Rs.1 lakh crore during the Bengal Global Business Summit here.

“There is so much tourism potential in Bengal. Eco-tourism is coming up,” Banerjee said at the summit which saw the participation of 20 countries besides over 1,000 businessmen from India.
The chief minister said the Hiranandani group was investing Rs.5,100 crore in Digha, a traditional favourite weekend getaway among the Bengali populace. The investment is poised to boost local tourism in the coastline as well.
“There’s so many,” Banerjee said highlighting the potential in the tourism segment.
Banerjee said special emphasis was being given to cultural tourism, heritage tourism and homestay tourism to boost the eco-tourism sector.
She also said special focus will be laid on maintaining an inclusive transparent process throughout the implementation of the state tourism policy to ensure long-term socio-economic sustainability.She said the Mayfair Group has also committed Rs.1,200 crore in the state and another Rs.15,000 crore commitment has been placed for smart cities.
She said tourism was being developed under the public-private partnership (PPP) model in Gajoldoba, Jharkhali, Sabujdwip.
New eco-tourism parks, lodges adventure sports and other projects were being undertaken. Tourism parks were being created in Saili, Kunjanagar and Jaldapara.
A tourist lodge was also being constructed in Jhargram Rajbari under PPP model.
With the central shipping ministry approving Rs.12,000 crore investment for the deep sea port in the Sagar islands, the area is poised to evolve as a tourism hot-spot.
The state has approved creation of three new beaches named Dheusagar, Rupsagar and Bhorsagar near the proposed port.
The state government has identified five prime travel circuits, namely the Dooars and Darjeeling in northern West Bengal, Sunderbans, Diamond Harbour and the River Circuit in the Ganga.