Jaipur: Rajasthan was poised to take back the space of being the leading tourism hub in the country said the Chief Minister, Ms. Vasundhara Raje today at the inaugural session of the 10th edition of the Great India Travel Bazaar (GITB) at Hotel Lalit in Jaipur. She said that the State was witnessing a huge energy in the tourism sector. The target of 50 million tourist arrivals by 2020 to Rajasthan would be met much earlier with over 47 million tourist arrivals already have come to the State by end of 2017, she said.
The Chief Minister further said that the logo and tagline “Jane Kya Dikh Jaye’’ has created a buzz the world over. The aggressive and creative marketing campaign had translated into impressive increase in the tourist arrivals. Small wonder then, she said, that the State had recently won the prestigious ET Brand Equity Award. In fact, Rajasthan Tourism had bagged as many as 47 awards in the past 4 years.
On this occasion the Chief Minister also thanked the Union Government for having supported the tourism circuits in Rajasthan Pushkar (Rs. 40 crores), Sambhar (Rs. 63 crores), Heritage (Rs. 100 crores), Spiritual (Rs. 93 crores) and Krishna (Rs. 91 crores). Furthermore, the intra-air connectivity in the State had connected Jaipur to Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner. A long standing demand of Jaipur being connected to Agra with air had also been fulfilled. Soon there would be flights from Jaipur to Varanasi. She hoped that Jaipur would also get connectivity to Kochi via Goa in times to come.
During the key note address by the Tourism Secretary, Government of India, Ms. Rashmi Verma said that in Rajasthan, Amer Fort has been selected as one of the 10 iconic sites from India to be developed in order to provide a better experience to the tourists. The tourism team from the Government of India will be visiting Amer Fort today to conduct a Gap Analysis and to understand the current state of infrastructure at the site.
Giving a snapshot of the Rajasthan Tourism industry, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Rajasthan, Dr. Subodh Agarwal said that in the year 2016-17, the tourist occupancy in hotels was 65% compared to in 2015 which was 58.9%. This despite the fact the inventory of rooms have gone up by 50%. The Jaipur airport is currently operating more than 70 flights with international carriers like Air Asia and Air Asia X.
Chairman Tourism Committee, FICCI, Dr. Jyotsna Suri said that a total of 280 foreign buyers from 55 countries and 270 Indian exhibitors are participating in this colossal bazaar. GITB 2018 will witness around 11,000 pre-scheduled, structured B2B meetings in two days. In the past 10 years GITB has emerged as the leading inbound tourism mart.
Co-Chairman, FICCI Tourism Committee, Mr. Dipak Deva said that over the 10 years of GITB, the mega travel mart has hosted over 2500 buyers from around the world.
Two knowledge papers FICCI-MRSS Study on ‘Rajasthan – A True Land of Culture and Heritage’ and FICCI-Yes Bank Study on ‘India Inbound ‘Tourism: Decoding Strategies for Next Stage of Growth’ were released by Ms. Vasundhara Raje and other dignitaries like Ms. Rashmi Verma, Mr. N.C. Goel, Mr. Subodh Agarwal, Ms. Jyotsna Suri, Mr. Dipak Deva, Mr. Randhir Vikram Singh, Director – Tourism, Government of Rajasthan, Mr Pradeep Kumar Borar, and Mr. Rahul Chakravarty. MoU documents were exchanged between FICCI (Dr. Jyotsna Suri) and Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan (Dr. Subodh Agarwal) for organizing GITB till the year 2024. It is to be noted that GITB is organised by Department of Tourism, Government of Rajasthan, the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). It is supported by leading national and regional associations like Hotel & Restaurant Association of Rajasthan (HRAR), Indian Heritage Hotels Association (IHHA) and Rajasthan Association of Tour Operators (RATO).