FICCI moots aggressive tourism policy for Gujarat

by Ritu Khatri ,  The Times of India | 2009-03-02

Ahmedabad : With Gujarat gearing up to unveil a new tourism policy two months down the line, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has mooted an aggressive marketing-focused approach to pitch the state as an international tourism hot spot.

FICCI has suggested that state government allocate a separate tourism advertising budget and urged the state to package its key strength of medical tourism along with cultural heritage.

"Gujarat, especially Ahmedabad, with world-class medical facilities offering treatments for cardio ailments and knee replacement at nearly one-tenth the cost abroad is already emerging as a global medical tourism hotspot. The state now needs to market its festivals like Rannotsav in Kutch, Tarnetar fair, Navratri and Uttarayan to patients coming for treatments," FICCI officials said on Friday.

The state can get nearly 3,000 foreign tourists through this route alone, a FICCI (Gujarat state council) official said at a curtain-raiser on the Great Indian Travel Bazaar '09, to be organised in April at Jaipur jointly by FICCI, Union tourism ministry and Rajasthan tourism department.

"The state can also design special packages for businessmen travelling to Gujarat, so that they can visit a few well-known places and even make leisure trips later with their families," FICCI officials said.

Incidentally, tourism was the focus at the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors' Summit 2009, where 102 MoUs worth Rs 43,000 crore were inked in January.

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