Jaipur, April 23 : Rajasthan was poised to take back the space of the country's leading tourism hub in the country with the state witnessing a "huge energy" in the sector, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje has said.
The target of 50 million tourist arrivals by 2020 to Rajasthan would be met much earlier with over 47 million tourist arrivals already have come to the state by end of 2017, said Raje in her address at the inauguration of the 10th edition of the Great India Travel Bazaar (GITB) here on Sunday night.
Claiming Rajasthan Tourism's logo and tagline "Jane Kya Dikh Jaye" has created a buzz the world over, she said the aggressive and creative marketing campaign had translated into impressive increase in the tourist arrivals and it was no wonder that the state had recently won the prestigious ET Brand Equity Award.
In fact, Rajasthan Tourism had bagged as many as 47 awards in the past four years, she added.
Raje also thanked the Union government for having supported the tourism circuits in Rajasthan, while helping intra-state air connectivity, thus linking Jaipur to Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Bikaner while also meeting the long-standing demand of Jaipur being connected to Agra by air.
In the keynote address, Union Tourism Secretary Rashmi Verma said that in Rajasthan, Amer Fort has been selected as one of the 10 iconic sites from India to be developed in order to provide a better experience to the tourists.
Giving a snapshot of the Rajasthan tourism industry, state's Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism, Subodh Agarwal said that in 2016-17, the tourist occupancy in hotels was 65 per cent compared to 58.9 percent in 2015, despite the inventory of rooms have gone up by 50 per cent.
Meanwhile, Jaipur airport was currently operating more than 70 flights, including international carriers, he added.
Ficci Tourism Committee Chairman Jyotsna Suri said that a total of 280 foreign buyers from 55 countries and 270 Indian exhibitors are participating in GITB 2018, which will witness around 11,000 pre-scheduled, structured B2B meetings in two days, adding that in the past 10 years, GITB has emerged as the leading inbound tourism mart.
Two knowledge papers - the FICCI-MRSS Study, titled "Rajasthan - A True Land of Culture and Heritage" and a Ficci-Yes Bank Study on "India Inbound Tourism: Decoding Strategies for Next Stage of Growth" were also released on the occasion.
An MoU between Ficci and Rajasthan's Department of Tourism for organising GITB till 2024 was also done.