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January 9, 2015

Bengal puts special emphasis on Tourism

Bengal puts special emphasis on Tourism

Tourism has been a focus area for the West Bengal Government. The budgetary allocation has been increased from Rs 32 crore during the previous regime to Rs 180 crore for the year 2014-15. The government is soon going to come up with a new Tourism Policy; several suggestions were made regarding the same at the breakaway session on tourism at the Bengal Global Business Summit 2015.


Takeaways from the breakaway session on tourism:

  • Various tax incentives and relaxation of entertainment tax, luxury tax to be given to promote investment in tourism sector.
  • Up to 75% Vat return for creation of mega tourism projects.
  • Incentives will be provided for creating job opportunities in tourism sector.
  • Special emphasis laid on attracting tourist during Durga Puja and other cultural festivals.
  • New policy declared for development of Darjeeling, Dooars, Kolkata and Sundarbans as places of primary tourist spot.
  • Ropeways to be installed in hills areas.
  • Kolkata International Airport has ‘Visa on Arrival’ facility. Emphasis to be given on developing places of tourist attracting to places near the airport.


Investment proposals for Tourism sector finalised in the summit:

  • Mayfair group to  Invest 1200 crore.
  • South City group to build up a gateway to Sundarbans with an investment of 1000 crore.
  • 15,000 crore investment for building up “smart cities.”
  • Pinnacle Air to start air operations within Kolkata, Durgapur, Bagdogra, Coochbehar.
  • The total investment proposals received in the Hotel and Resorts are in the tune of Rs 1750 crore.
  • Major proposals in setting up hotels and proposals received from: The Park, Kolkata (Rs 50 crore), Airport hotel (Rs 30 crore), Crowne Plaza (Rs 450 crore).
  • 5 star hotels and resorts by Ambuja Group in Newtown, Makaibari Tea Estate, Kurseong, Sonagon, Sundarbans, Digha, Latguri, Ghom, Darjeeling and Gorumara Forest with a total investment of Rs 500 crore.
  • PPP projects under Tourism sector worth investment of Rs 200 crore.


Three new beaches in the Gangasagar have already been approved. A new deep sea port at “Bhor Sagor” will come up with an investment of more than 12,000 crore.  Circuit tourism is being developed in Digha, Darjeeling, Dooars, Jangalmahal and Gangasagar.  Tourism is being developed under the PPP model in places like Gajoldoba, Jharkhali, Sabujdwip. New eco parks, luxury cottages, resorts are being set up in rapid pace in places across Bengal.