Gujarat takes to the roads to promote tourism

State tourism department is promoting Saputara hill sattion through roads shows in neigbouring Maharashtra

geetanjali

Geetanjali Minhas | July 5, 2011




In an attempt to project Gujarat as a top tourist destination, the state tourism department held a road show in Mumbai promoting the Saputara hill station. The month-long Saputara Monsoon Festival, on from July 30 to August 30, will offer tourists thrills like paragliding, water sports. Heritage walks, laser shows, photography exihibitions are scheduled apart from cultural programmes, food festivals and contests during the month-long fiesta.

Gujarat is eyeing a place in the global tourism map, having collborated with the Archaeological Survey of India to showcase its rich history and heritage. With one third of the country’s coastline, Gujarat also has tremendous potential to make good of marine eco-tourism, beaches and water sports. More than 1.5 crore tourists visit Gujarat annually. The state which is an industrial powerhouse and a development paragon is looking to make its mark in the tourism sector.

Speaking to the assembly, chief guest Jay Narayan Vyas, tourism minister of the state said ,“Although close to Mumbai, Saputara has not been marketed like Mahabaleshwar and Goa. This presents a great opportunity to industries in the hospitality and entertainment sectors."

In an interaction with the audience, the minister said that along with water transport, the government is also lobbying for a domestic and international airport in the state and added that land has been identified for an international airport at Ahmedabad.

Gujarat will be projecting a wholesome image, he maintained. "Come to the state that follows culture and values and where joy, safety and security is a way of life," he said.

“In the next 5-7 years, Gujarat will have an international airport," he said. "We have come a long way as one of India's most industrialised state. Now, we will focus on the tourism sector."

Saputara, a part of the Dang forest area plateau of Sahyadri range, is perched at an altitude of 1,000 m above the sea level. It experiences uniform weather all year. While Gujarat held similar road shows in Nashik and Nagpur earlier, one has been planned for Pune as well. The state is also gearing up for hosting the world birdwatchers' conference in December.

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