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Gujarat expects over 6 crore tourists to visit this fiscal

"In 2016-17, tourists' inflow was 4.48 crore and the same went up to almost 5.8 crore in 2018-19. The annual growth rate was 14 per cent. With the trend of increasing tourists' footfalls, we are expecting that tourist inflow should cross six crore in the current fiscal," said Jenu Devan, Commissioner of the state Tourism Department on Saturday.

PTI PTI
Kolkata Published on: July 14, 2019 11:52 IST
Gujarat expects over 6 crore tourists to visit this
Image Source : PTI

Gujarat expects over 6 crore tourists to visit this fiscal  

Buoyed by increasing tourist footfalls and development of various destinations in the state, Gujarat is expecting tourist inflow to cross six crore in the current fiscal, an official said.

The western state which is "focusing on attracting foreign tourists" will come out with a heritage tourism policy soon, the official said.

"In 2016-17, tourists' inflow was 4.48 crore and the same went up to almost 5.8 crore in 2018-19. The annual growth rate was 14 per cent. With the trend of increasing tourists' footfalls, we are expecting that tourist inflow should cross six crore in the current fiscal," said Jenu Devan, Commissioner of the state Tourism Department on Saturday.

He said the tourism sector contributes about three per cent of the state's gross domestic product and its contribution is expected to "improve" in the years to come.

Over Rs 12,500 crore was invested in the sector in the last four years to improve the infrastructure for the sector, he said.

"The state is preparing a heritage tourism policy and approval for this will come shortly. At present, there are 33 heritage properties. With the implementation of the policy, more of such properties will come within tourism map," Devan said.

Elaborating on the tourism potential and emerging destinations, State Tourism Minister Jawahar Chavda said Gujarat is "a rich place" in terms of its economy, nature and culture.

"The state offers mountains to desert and sea beach," he said.

"Apart from the neighbouring states such as Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal is an important for Gujarat tourism as over seven lakh visitors travel to the western state every year," Chavda said on the sidelines of a road show here on Saturday evening.

In Gujarat, two prominent tourist sites - Somnath and Dholavira - would be developed into iconic tourism destinations as a part of the Central government's Swadesh Darshan Scheme, Devan said, adding that "big packages" are going to come for these two sites to woo visitors.

The minister said the state is focusing on attracting foreign tourists, which currently comprises roughly one per cent of the annual inflow of travellers.

"NRI comprises about 2-3 per cent of the annual tourist inflow in the state. In addition, about six lakh foreign tourists visit the state last year. We should be able to attract one lakh more foreign tourists this year. We will do road shows overseas in order to attract tourists from foreign countries," Devan said.

Among tourists coming to the state from overseas countries, the UK, the US and Italy are at the top of list, he said.

Around 20-25 lakh tourists visited the Statue of Unity, Devan said, adding that the average tourists' footfalls is 7000-8000 in week days while the same for weekend rises up to 15,000, he said.

The Statue of Unity, built at a cost of Rs 2,389 crore is a 182-metre memorial to Sardar Patel in Kevadiya in Narmada district. It is the tallest structure of its kind in the world and was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 31 last year. 

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