With new branding and logo, West Bengal Tourism is all set to accelerate its destination promotions in both domestic and international markets in coming months. The State Tourism department will be hitting identified markets with highly focused brand campaigns in coming months. Speaking to the media at a B2B road show organised by State Tourism Board in New Delhi last week, Surajit Bose, Additional Director and Joint Secretary to West Bengal Tourism said that the department will try to tap Chinese, South East Asia and Sri Lankan markets through targeted marketing promotion activities. The focus would be the Buddhist religious travellers from these markets, he said.
Bose said that State Tourism would be participating in Travel shows in these markets, organising familiarisation trips for tour operators and media, etc., to create awareness in these markets. “We have conducted FAM trips for 17 travel tour operators from China in the month of January. Few more agents are coming in the month of October. State has also participated in China Travel Exhibition in Kunming recently,” he said. However, he informed that language is a major issue as Bengal has very few Mandarin speaking guides as of now. Therefore, the State has tied up with Institute of Chinese Language to train more Mandarin speaking guides, he added.
Talking about the domestic market, Bose said that while Bengal has traditionally been receiving tourists from North and the Western region, South has been lagging behind. In order to rectify that imbalance, the State Tourism has recently conducted road shows in key cities in the South. The Tourism department has also started advertisement campaigns in airports, cafés, FM jingles, etc., in the South, he said.
“Our campaigns were disjointed so far. With the new agency, O&M, in place, the approach is now more focused,” Bose said. The new branding and tagline – Experience Bengal – The Sweetest Part of India – Bengal Tourism is planning to reposition the image from the natural beauty to the Experiential side of the State by dividing the landscape into five zones – the highlands; forests and tea gardens; heritage; beaches and mangroves; and mega city Kolkata.
The government is bestowing highest priority to the tourism sector, Bose said, highlighting the increasing budget outlay for Tourism year on year. The budget allocation has grown six-fold in the last six years to INR 257 cr in 2016-17.