West Bengal Tourism launched 'Experience Bengal', a campaign aimed at promoting West Bengal as a tourist destination in the national and international market, with a tag line 'The Sweetest Part of India'.
Through this campaign, the Bengal Tourism Department also aims to widen the travel experiences of visitors beyond the places of attractions so as to help them explore the serenity of the state. For the initiative, a budget of Rs 257 crore has been allocated to the Tourist Department in 2015-16. The budget for tourism was a meagre Rs 44 crore in 2011-12.
Surajit Bose, additional director and ex-officio joint secretary, West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation Ltd, while addressing the media, said, “Tourism was not a priority sector before 2011. Previously, we had little budget, so tourism was not promoted. With the allocation of better budget, we are doing road shows and promoting the campaign in print, electronic as well as outdoor media. We have also changed the logo and tag line to reposition Bengal. Now, West Bengal has better roads and infrastructure not only in the urban regions but also in the rural areas, which will help the state attract tourists from India as well as abroad”.
Taking the campaign to a larger scale, new sets of artworks for print and outdoor mediums have been created and the department has entered into tie-ups with several multiplexes and has roped in Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan as its brand ambassador. Efforts are also on to make the official website of the department clutter-free, visually appealing and contemporary. The new website will be launched before the festive season.
The government has also come up with Tourist Policy 2016, which has laid down action plans for the development of tourism in the state. Six primary tourist circuits have been put in place. Some of the emerging areas that will help promote tourism in the state include Mice (for destination weddings), home stays, rural tourism, walk tours, weekend getaways, adventure tourism, tea tourism, cruise tourism, heritage palaces, wellness tourism, cultural tourism and film tourism.