THE Indian state of Gujarat will dedicate a war chest of US$100 million to tourism infrastructure development and promotion this year, a marked increase since its budget of US$6 million in 2006.
Gujarat’s chief minister, Narendra Modi, said: “Gujarat has numerous natural advantages that will now be packaged, and we will offer a new product for every different tourist preference.”
With the enhanced budget, plans are afoot to promote Gujarat’s 2,575km coastline. New beaches have been identified for development, while the construction of a cruise terminal and dolphin-sighting trips are on the anvil.
Vipul Mittra, principal secretary – tourism, Gujarat, said: “We will target children with a new campaign, educating them about our attractions and creating destinations and activities that are exciting for them.”
Previous promotions by the state have included signing Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan as a brand ambassador in 2010, whose 16 commercial films have featured attractions in Gujarat as part of the deal, as well as efforts to push the state’s religious, cultural, medical and nature tourism.
In 2012, Gujarat’s number of domestic and international arrivals leapt 5.4 million to 22 million, a 16 per cent year-on-year increase.