Big B pulling in tourists for Gujarat


Gandhinagar: While Guja-ratis are known to be great travelers, the state tourism industry has never really flourished. But this year officials point to a sudden spurt. The May-September period this year was estimated to have seen 1.3 million more tourists compared to the same period last year, they say.

Gujarat Tourism Secretary Vipul Mitra attributes the increase to a variety of factors like road shows and a countrywide awareness campaign, besides the pull of Bachchan. Bachchan started shooting the Khushboo Gujarati Ki campaign by adman Piyush Pandey in April, generating a buzz about tourism in Gujarat. It started airing on television in October.

The campaign consists of three short films of 60 seconds each focusing on the ethereal beauty of Kutch, the sanctity of the Somnath temple and the magnificence of the lions of Gir.

Such a tourism campaign had never been carried out for the state and was the brainwave of Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

The first fortnight of November earned the sanctuary record revenue of over Rs. 45 lakh from over 35,000 visitors, say official sources.

This presents a pretty picture as compared to the revenue figure of Rs. 2.10 crore in the eight months between October 2009 and May 2010 – with a monthly average of a mere Rs. 26 lakh.

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