Monday, September 20, 2010

Big B a big boost for Gujarat tourism

Big B a big boost for Gujarat tourism
The Pioneer By Maya Bhushan

After Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Amitabh Bachchan is now bolstering the fortunes of Gujarat, or so Gujarat Tourism officials feel.

"After Bachchan shot his ad film, promoting Gujarat Tourism at the Gir sanctuary recently, a Taj group hotel which was closed for nearly nine year, decided to open up," Gujarat's Tourism Secretary Vipul Mitra told reporters in Panaji on Saturday, explaining that tourism in the State swelled by more than 30 per cent as compared to last year.

Mitra, along with Gujarat Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) chairman Kamlesh Patel, is in Goa as part of a Gujarat Tourism roadshow.

Big B had shot a series of advertisements to promote tourism in Gujarat with Khushboo Gujarat ki (Fragrance of Gujarat) as the theme.

The ads, with Big B urging people to visit the Gir sanctuary, Rann of Kutch, Somnath Temple and other tourism sites, are a big hit, Mitra said.

"Amitabh Bachchan has made a huge difference. There is tremendous amount of interest generated in the places where he has shot the promotional videos," Mitra added.

"Hotels in Somnath and Dwarka are also registering an increase in the number of tourists since the ads were aired," he said.

"We hope he will be with us for a long time. It was not tough at all to rope him in. Our Chief Minister spoke to him and he agreed immediately," he said.

Nearly 1.65 crore tourists visited Gujarat this year, which included nearly two lakh foreigners, Mitra informed.

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