The Governor, Punjab and Administrator UT Chandigarh Mr. V.P.Singh Badnore while addressing the interface of Punjab Government here today at the Indian School of Business with the Indian Heritage Hotel Association asked the Government of Punjab to introduce innovative ideas which were required for promotion of heritage tourism in Punjab. He called upon the Indian Heritage Hotel Association, for extending its expertise in conservation of heritage and development of tourism in the state.Mr. Badnore appreciated the passion and acumen of the Tourism Minister, Mr. Navjot Singh Sidhu by which he has taken the entire concept of promoting Heritage tourism. He said that a detailed discussion with the representatives of IHHA on how tourism and culture can help in creating job avenues especially in the rural areas of the State has already taken place and modalities are being worked out to formulate the plans.The Punjab State would be on the forefront in developing heritage tourism and there was a great scope for converting a lot of these heritage properties, lying in shambles, into destinations including wedding destination, said the Governor.
"Punjab has been the frontline state of the country in every other sphere and now the time has come to showcase the amazing prowess of the state in tourism sector also for which the State Government would not leave any stone unturned.’’ Emphatically putting forward his line of action here today at the Indian School of Business, the Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister, Punjab, Mr. Navjot Singh Sidhu said that the state has immense potential to emerge as the leading player on global stage in the tourism sector and to ensure this, the state government is in the process of coming out with a comprehensive policy as taking Punjab to the heights of tourism sector is the dream envisaged by the Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh.Making a water tight case in favour of Punjab to be numero uno on both tourism and cultural fronts, Mr. Sidhu said that the time is ripe for the arrival of 'Brand Punjab' on world stage with a bang. He also said that meticulous planning and strategizing is the need of the hour to promote and market 'Brand Punjab' in the entire globe. He also said that the main purpose of this historic interaction made possible due to the initiative and as per the directions of the Governor, Punjab Mr. V.P. Singh Badnore and the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh is to bring into focus the potential that Punjab holds in the tourism sector.Underlining the importance of the NRI community in taking the mission to pinnacle of success, the minister said that the NRIs yearn deeply for reconnecting with their glorious cultural and historical roots back home in Punjab so they must be made partners in the development of the state on tourism front through proper policy planning.
Perfectly articulating his vision to transform Punjab into a Tourism superpower, Mr. Sidhu revealed that the 4 circuits namely- Maharaja circuit, Mughal circuit, Sufi circuit and Spiritual circuit would act as the game changers for the state from the point of view of taking tourism sector to the un-scaled heights. He also disclosed that the religious circuit would connect 3 takht sahibans in the state ( Sri Akal Takht Sahib Amritsar, Sri Kesgarh Sahib Sri Anandpur Sahib, and Damdama Sahib, Talwandi Sabo), Fatehgarh Sahib and Chamkaur Sahib whereas the Maharaja Circuit would include connecting Quila Mubarak Patiala, Sheesh Mahal, Bathinda Fort, Darbar Hall Sangrur, Maharaja Jagatjit Palace and Bagghikhana Kapurthala. Under Mughal circuit, various sarais namely-Shambhu, Doraha, Nakodar, Nurmahal, Coronation place of Mughal Emperor Jalal-ud-Din Muhammad Akbar in Kalanaur (Gurdaspur) would be connected whereas under the Sufi circuit – Roza Sharif Sirhind, places related to Baba Sheikh Farid in Faridkot besides those related with Baba Bulle Shah would be connect. He also said that deliberations are on to allow use of various forts in Punjab as wedding destinations while making tent arrangements for tourists at places like-Aam Khas Bagh Sirhind.Mr. Sidhu also divulged that the boost to the tourism sector in the state would result in the economy of the state besides playing a yeoman's role in generating adequate employment opportunities for the youth of the state. He further said that tourism sphere has the ability to run an entire country leave alone a state provided that adequate and serious preparations go into making any place a viable tourist destination.Addressing on the occasion, the President of IHHA, Maharaja Gaj Singh (Jodhpur) said that Mr. Navjot Singh Sidhu is making herculean efforts towards transforming Punjab into a tourism hub and lauding the efforts said that bold decisions are a sure recipe for success. He also stressed on the applicability of unique and novel ideas to carry the mission forward besides working with single minded devotion.
Earlier, the Principal Secretary, Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Punjab Mr. Jaspal Singh highlighted through a power point presentation the serious endeavour of the department to finalize the draft of the proposed tourism policy. On the occasion, Consultant Abha Narain Lamba, working for restoring cultural sites of Punjab to their former glory, perfectly showcased through a presentation the religious, historical and culturally important buildings and monuments which could attract the tourists in a fairly large number. Conducting the stage, the Director, Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Mr. Shivdular Singh Dhillon brought into focus the finer points of important tourist landmarks in the state and threw light on the culturally significant sites of Patiala.In his presentation on the Northern Ireland, Lord Daljit Rana said that the place attracts the number of tourists twice its population and termed tourism as the backbone of the economy of Northern Ireland. The Honorary General Secretary of the IHHA, Thakur Randhir Vikram Singh gave detailed insight into the heritage hotels situated across the country and expressed happiness over the fact that the State Government has shown special interest in this sector resulting in sincere efforts to preserve heritage of Punjab as well as chalking out a comprehensive tourism policy. He also said that till today, there is not a single heritage hotel in Punjab whereas these are successfully running in various other states. The CMD of the Neemrana Hotels Mr. Aman Nath strongly advocated that the Punjabi people should proudly profess their identity which would be an important factor in making Punjab a global giant in tourism sector.