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 the 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), and Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI) held a detailed strategy formulation Meet on the development of a tourism roadmap in association with Govt. of West Bengal.
The day-long workshop, the first in a series in pursuance of the Memorandum of Agreement signed between the FAITH and Govt of West Bengal on 21st April 2022, held discussions on multiple issues relating to the strategic 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 the 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 different professionals and stakeholders engaged in the travel and tourism industry with a view to unlocking 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 the Chief Secretary, Dr. H. K Dwivedi while from FAITH (Federation of Associations in Indian Tourism & Hospitality), the session was attended by the 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.
Detailed ideation on the above was subsequently undertaken with officials of the Department of Tourism led by the 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.