Big B''s campaign gave a boost to Gujarat Tourism: Minister

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Ahmedabad, Jan 19 (PTI) The month-long Rann Utsav(Desert Festival) in Kutch district has given a boost to thetourism industry in Gujarat, Tourism Minister Jaynarayan Vyassaid today.

"In the last three years, there has been aquantitative transformation in the state''s tourism sector.

There has been 70 per cent increase in the tourist arrivals,which was a result of aggressive campaign," he told reporterson the concluding day of the Rann Utsav.

The ad campaign by Gujarat Tourism brand ambassadorAmitabh Bachchan was also a major factor in the growth of thesector, the Minister said.

"Rann Utsav, earlier held for only three days, wasthis year for the first time organised for one full month. Ithas acted as an accelerator for the tourism industry."

Noting that Kutch was becoming a prime destination forholiday-makers, he said the popularity of the festival can begauged from the fact that the number of visitors rose frommere 725 three years ago to nearly 30,000 this year.

Vyas said the total income generated during thefestival, that began on December 19, was about Rs 10 crore.

Listing future plans, the Minister said his departmenthas identified places like Pavagarh in Vadodara and Saputarain Dangs for developing adventure sports like para-gliding.

"Pavagarh and Saputara are ideal destinations for para-gliding. At present we are doing para-mapping to assess thewind speed in different seasons."

Vyas highlighted the religious importance of Dangsdistrict which has places like Shabri Dham and Anjali Kund,both associated with the Ramayana.

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