THE northwestern state of Rajasthan is set for stronger tourism growth, as international hotel brands are launching in succession while a tourism campaign has raised its profile at major tradeshows around the world.
Speaking at the fifth edition of the Great Indian Travel Bazaar (GITB), Bina Kak, Rajasthan tourism minister, said: “We are embarking on a large-scale promotion of Rajasthan as a tourism destination. We have invited buyers to post-event tours to familiarise (themselves) with our diverse product (offerings), and we are enabling villages with US$100,000 each to develop rural tourism.”
Guldeep Singh Sahni, managing director, Weldon Tours, is optimistic of the state’s tourism potential. He said: “Rajasthan is developing new tourism attractions and packaging them very well. Heritage attractions are being repositioned for both the FIT and MICE markets. Air connectivity could be improved but the infrastructure is good. We hope to get substantially more inbound tourists this year.”
Many erstwhile palaces and royal residences in Rajasthan have been converted into heritage hotels. Hotel brands including Relais & Chateaux, Starwood, Oberoi, Taj and Leela have expanded here, and several more hotels are in the pipeline. Rajasthan’s branding as the Incredible State of India has been well received in both the local and overseas markets.
Held at the new BM Birla Convention Centre in Jaipur from April 15-17, GITB was attended by 264 buyers from 55 countries, including emerging destinations like Chile, Argentina, Cambodia and Lithuania, as well as 500 sellers.