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Bengal to promote 'tea tourism'

By BS Bureau in Kolkata
April 16, 2005 12:35 IST
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The West Bengal department of tourism has taken up the development of select destinations like Bishnupur, Cooch Behar, Santiniketan and Mukutmanipur as well as the promotion of 'tea tourism' in the Dooars and Darjeeling areas.

TK Burman, principal secretary of the tourism department, said clearance from the Centre for the tea tourism project was expected shortly.

The project will involve development of cottage at tea estates in the Hila and Murty regions. The department will also undertake infrastructure development at areas surrounding Balabari More in the Dooars.

"The department will be concentrating on developing infrastructure for tourists in the region of Balabari More along with cottages at two tea estates," said Burman.

The overall cost of the project is around Rs 7.98 crore (Rs 79.8 million), he added.

In 2003, domestic and foreign tourists visiting West Bengal numbered 1.13 crore (Rs 11.3 million) and 7.05 lakh respectively, accounting for around 3.5 per cent and 10 per cent share of respective tourist categories in India during the same year.

In 2004, the growth of tourist inflow in the state was 15 per cent. The number of foreign tourists rose mainly in the Sunderbans region, Darjeeling and Mayapur, Burman said.

In an effort to attract more domestic tourists, the department will open a tourist information centre in Mumbai very soon in addition to a similar office existing in New Delhi.

The building in Mumbai housing the Bengal tourism centre will also have the tourism offices of Jharkhand and Orissa.

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BS Bureau in Kolkata
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