Chandigarh, October 12, 2017: "Punjab in itself is a huge brand and has contributed immensely in every development oriented sector to take the country forward on the path to progress," observed Tourism and Cultural Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu here at 'National Tourism Conclave.
Senior tourism departmental officials as well as experts connected with the tourism sector were present at the event organized by the Tourism and Cultural Affairs Department in collaboration with Elets Technomedia Private Limited.
Sidhu elaborated that Punjab had immense potential to emerge as the numero uno destination in tourism sector but the need of the hour was to properly market the extremely rich heritage of the state so as to unlock this potential. He also emphasized that if adequate attention was paid to the harnessing of unbounded opportunities in the tourism and cultural sector then this field alone could be the catalyst of economic development.
He listed the example of Sri Darbar Sahib in this regard which is visited by more than a lakh people daily. The minister said that the examples set by the Great Gurus of service towards humanity transcending the religious and racial boundaries helped Punjab in showing the way of peaceful co-existence and maintaining secular ethos. The state has many interesting stories to tell about scores of historically epoch making events taking place at its soil for e.g.—the site at Kalanaur in Gurdaspur where Akbar was proclaimed as Emperor of India.
Focusing on Medical Tourism as the core area, the minister said that if 2 or 3 hospitals are build in historically significant spots for e.g. Amritsar, then it would contribute hugely to the strengthening of economic infrastructure of the state. He also listed landscaping and setting up of the cafeterias as important steps in giving more push to the tourism sector. He also underlined the importance of promoting rural tourism which would lead to the emergence of rural areas of the state on the world map.
Giving a clarion call for the need to help connect NRI Punjabi community with its roots back home, Mr. Sidhu said that if proper facilities are made available to cater to the NRIs then it can also give a boost to state's economy.
The minister assured that the rich and glorious heritage of Punjab would be taken to the grassroots level in the state so as to ensure that everybody is aware of the rich legacy and traditions that have been bestowed upon the state. He also said that every drop of his blood would be devoted to make efforts to restore Punjab to its pristine glory.
Earlier, the Director, Tourism and Cultural Affairs Department Mr. Shivdular Singh Dhillon welcomed the minister. On the occasion, Mr. Sidhu was also felicitated and a special issue of e-Gov magazine was also launched. Several prominent personalities including Actress Mrs. Deepa Sahi (Mayanagri Company—which has renovated the Gobindgarh Fort in Amritsar), Filmmaker Mr. Ketan Mehta, Mr. Albert Sole (World Bank Group), Mr. Bhavik Rathour (Uber Eats), Mr. Sanjay Bhatia (Chairman, Mumbai Port Trust), Mr. S.K. Mishra (Rural Tourism Expert), Ravneet Kaur (Chairman & Managing Director India Tourism Development Corporation), Dr. Ravi Gupta (CEO, Elets Technomedia Private Limited.) also spoke about exploring the opportunities regarding building infrastructure, mobilizing investments and ease of doing business for tourism sector.