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In decade, state saw 30% growth in foreign tourists

MOHALI: Punjab has recorded unprecedented growth in domestic and foreign tourists’ arrival in the past decade. The state has seen a phenomenal CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of nearly 30 per cent in foreign tourist arrivals and 27 per cent in domestic tourist arrivals over the period 2009-18.

Tribune News Service

Mohali, December 6

Punjab has recorded unprecedented growth in domestic and foreign tourists’ arrival in the past decade.

The state has seen a phenomenal CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of nearly 30 per cent in foreign tourist arrivals and 27 per cent in domestic tourist arrivals over the period 2009-18.

Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar, was awarded the most-visited religious place in the world by the World Book of Records (WBR).

The state could exploit the tourism potential in wedding tourism by emerging as a preferred place for destination weddings and in spiritual tourism. But ecological sustainability in tourism should be adhered to.

These were some of the facts that emerged during the session on ‘Tourism in Punjab: Unlocking Tourism Potential of Punjab’ at Progressive Punjab Investor Summit-2019.

Vikas Pratap, Principal Secretary, Tourism and Culture, said that Punjab witnessed arrival of 1.2 million foreign tourists and 44.5 million domestic tourists in 2018.

He said that this was because Punjab is known for its rich religious places, cultural heritage, traditional fairs and festivals, museums, memorials, cuisines, art and craft, farms and eco-tourism.

During the session, panellists and delegates from across different segments in the tourism sector said that the state still had great potential to become the tourist hub of South Asia.

The session brought together all the stakeholders from hotel and hospitality, travel magazines, leisure and tour associations on a single platform.

Panelists included Nakul Anand, Executive Director, ITC Limited and Chairman of FAITH; Zubin Saxena, MD and VP, Operations, South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group; Kavinder Singh, MD and CEO, Mahindra Holidays and Resorts India Ltd; Sesh Seshadri, Director, Lonely Planet India; Ashish Gupta, CEO, FAITH; Chef Manjit Singh Gill, President, Indian Federation of Culinary Associations (IFCA); and Dinesh Chadha, VP – Real Estate and Development, Indian Hotels Company Limited.

Suneet Kochhar, Director, Khanna Papers (Hospitality Division), shared his experience on setting up a unit in hospitality division in Punjab. He hailed the Punjab Government for time-bound and hassle-free approval of applications.

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