Gujarat Chief Minister Smt Anandiben Patel inaugurated 4th edition of ‘Vibrant Gujarat International Travel Mart’ (VGITM) organized by the Government of Gujarat and Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Ltd. (TCGL) in association with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar this evening.
During her inaugural speech, CM expressed her happiness over participation from about 50 countries including USA, England, Canada and Japan as well as 20 Indian states in this global travel show this year. This is the result of the efforts of state government to boost the tourism sector in the state, she added. She also congratulated and praised tourism department and all the participants for making this a reality and wished VGITM a grand success.
CM Smt Patel stated that recently announced state tourism policy, which has granted the status of industry to this sector, is getting great response from investors from around the world. She further said that this year about 50 investors have shown interest to set-up hotels, resorts, theme parks, amusement park, tented accommodations and other tourism related amenities worth Rs. 3000 crore. She also shared that MoUs worth Rs. 1000 crore are likely to be signed during 4500 B2B meetings to be held between stakeholders to explore investment opportunities. It is a matter of great joy that Gujarat Government’s new Tourism Policy is already showing results within short span of 5 months after being announced, she added.
CM Smt Patel stated that tourism sector has huge potential to generate employment and showcase our rich history, tradition, art and culture. She added that tourism is a priority sector for the state government and through International Travel Mart and ‘Khushbu Gujarat Ki’ campaign featuring Amitabh Bachchann, we are making persistent efforts to promote tourism in the state. She also gave credit to the peaceful and harmonious atmosphere prevailing in the state for the increase in travelers and development recorded by tourism sector.
In her speech, CM Smt Patel informed that there has been a significant increase in the tourists visiting Gujarat due to series of events and festivals like Navratri, International Kite Festival, Rann Utsav, Tarnetar Fair, etc. She also mentioned about recreational and eco-tourism opportunities in the state and ‘Statue of Unity’, world’s tallest statue of Sardar Patel, which will be a great attraction for tourists.
CM Smt Patel also talked about home-stay policy, tourist guide training to about 600 people and training in tourism and hospitality management to about 4500 people. She also mentioned that Gujarat bagged national award for the Best Rural Tourism Project for Rann Utsav in September, 2015.
Linking cleanliness to tourism, CM Smt Patel stated that maintaining cleanliness at tourist destinations is highly required, which will help in attracting more international tourists and can make Gujarat a world-class tourist destination.
A coffee-table book ‘Gujarat Tourism thru’ the Land of Arts & Crafts’ and ‘Tourism Roadmap – 2025’ were released by CM Smt Patel on the occasion. Some important MoUs were also signed in the presence of the CM.
To grace this occasion, Minister Shri Saurabhbhai Patel, Shri Babubhai Bokhiria, State Ministers Shri Jayeshbhai Radadia, Smt Vasuben Trivedi, Shri Pradeepsinh Jadeja, Shri Rajnikant Patel, Parliamentary Secretary Shri Vasanbhai Ahir, MP Shri Parimal Nathwani, Chief Secretary Shri G. R. Aloria, Chief Principal Secretary to CM Shri K. Kailashnathan, Principal Secretary (Tourism) Shri S. J. Haider, Tourism Minister of Orissa Shri Ashok Chandra Panda, Tourism Secretary – GoI Shri Vinod Zutshi, President of IATO Shri Subhash Goyal, Sr. Vice President of FICCI Shri Pankaj Patel, High Commissioner of Malawi, Yemen, Tunisia, England and Canada, senior bureaucrats of state government, delegates and other invitees remained present