The Department of Tourism, Govt. of West Bengal and Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality (FAITH) held a day-long workshop to formulate a tourism development strategy aiming at creation of livelihood and job opportunities was held on 4th June, 2022 at ITC, Royal Bengal Hotel on the development of a tourism strategic roadmap for West Bengal.
FAITH, the policy federation of all the ten national associations representing the complete tourism, travel and hospitality industry of India – Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI), Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI), Federation of Hotel & Restaurants Association of India (FHRAI), Hotel Association of India (HAI), Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), India Convention Promotion Bureau (ICPB), 7. Indian Heritage Hotels Association (IHHA), Indian Tourist Transporters Association (ITTA), Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) held a detailed strategy formulation Meet on development of a tourism roadmap in association with Govt. of West Bengal.
The day-long workshop, the first in series in pursuance to the Memorandum of Agreement signed between the FAITH and Govt of West Bengal on 21st April, 2022, held discussions on multiple issues relating to strategy roadmap for tourism development for the state of West Bengal.
There was a consensus to evaluate in detail many of the issues concerning tourism, travel and hospitality industry including policy for heritage tourism, direct and last mile connectivity for tourist destinations, strengthening single window clearance mechanism for tourism, seamless tourist transportation, adventure and eco-tourism policy, prioritization of top 10 tourism products & segments, marketing & awareness campaign, development of district-wise tourism inventory and tourism calendars.
The workshop discussed ways to evolve an eclectic and holistic tourism strategy for tapping the immense tourism potential of the state; connecting tourism with the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the state thereby promoting and protecting folk art, craft and folk genres. It was decided to constitute sub-groups for more focused attention on niche tourism sectors including Heritage Tourism, Rural Tourism, Film Tourism, Adventure Tourism, Eco Tourism, River Tourism and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions) Tourism.
The evolving strategy shall be expected to focus on skilling, re-skilling and upskilling of different professionals and stakeholders engaged in the travel and tourism industry with a view to unlock the huge employment opportunities, while also ensuring seamless delivery of services for all the sectoral stakeholders and end-beneficiaries i.e. tourists intending to visit West Bengal from different parts of the country.
For Govt. of West Bengal, the day-long workshop was attended by Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries and District Magistrates, Commissioner/ Superintendent of Police under the leadership of Chief Secretary, Dr. H. K Dwivedi while from FAITH (Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality), the session was attended by presidents of its member associations and their key West Bengal representatives under the leadership of Mr. Nakul Anand, Chairman, FAITH. Mr Harshvardhan Neotia, Chairman, Ambuja Neotia Group and Mr. Nazib Arif, EVP Corporate Communication ITC were also present as members of the State Sectoral Task Force on Tourism.
A detailed ideation on the above was subsequently undertaken with officials of Department of Tourism led by Tourism Secretary. Dr. Saumitra Mohan. A milestone and timeline-based implementation roadmap will be put in place by the joint task force for subsequent consideration by the Government of West Bengal.
The delegates expressed their gratitude to the hon’ble Chief minister, Mamata Banerjee for her overall guidance.