How was tourism affected by the pandemic?
Not just Punjab, tourism all over the world was badly affected by the pandemic. In Punjab, the major footfall received is in Amritsar which was adversely affected for almost two years as people were not venturing out as much.
How is Punjab faring as a tourist destination after the pandemic?
Everything has opened up and there are no travel restrictions in Punjab. All our tourist attractions are open to tourists and we are slowly inching towards normalcy.
Why should tourists choose Punjab as their travel destination?
At present, Amritsar is the country’s most visited city. Aam Aadmi Party has now taken over in Punjab and our intention is to showcase the rich royal heritage, vibrant culture, formidable forts of our Maharajas such as the Gobindgarh Fort of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Summer Palace and Sikh History of our state to the world. We take pride in the history of our brave warriors and there is uniqueness to our regional history. The government is striving hard to showcase all these places in the form of a tourism package. There are so many interesting and insightful stories related to our forts. The Meenakari work adorning the walls of the fort is a splendid piece of art. Structures built years ago still stand the test of time
What are the marketing strategies to attract more tourists to Punjab?
It is our endeavour to advertise and promote all these destinations in the best way possible. Punjab is famous for its lush-green farms. We are now coming up with five-star farmhouses in which you can stay for a week as a vacation spot. We are promoting organic farming. Tourists can see the process of farming, how food is cooked by traditional methods using a ‘chulha’. They can catch a glimpse of farmers busy at work as well as the villagers in the interiors as well as stay there. We are promoting ‘farm tourism’.
What about the speciality dishes from Punjab?
Punjab is widely known for its food. The delectable cuisine complements the vibrant culture. Our ‘sarson ka saag’ and ‘makki ki roti’ are famous all over the world. There is no dearth of fresh milk, cured, buttermilk. Most of the houses in the villages have their own cows and buffaloes and milk is directly procured from there because of which it is so fresh. One can experience the authentic taste and village life in Punjab.
What would be your message to our readers?
Visit Punjab and experience the richness of our culture and heritage. Punjab is known to attract tourists all over the world not only for its tourist attractions, but also for its folk dance which is Bhangra and folk music. The style of singing old folk songs, musical instruments such as tumbi and algoza are the original folk instruments which are a reflection of our age-old culture. There is lot to explore in Punjab which is infused with a rich history. Amazing and wholesome food, majestic forts, folk arts etc. make Punjab a complete and perfect travel destination. It is also famous for its ‘Indus Valley and Harappan Civilisations’. We would like to welcome the tourism industry to Pathankot, Mohali, New Chandigarh sites to start something in terms of recreational tourism. In Pathankot, we have an island which not many know about. We are planning to start a five-star hotel chain and recreational tourism activities there. We would like tourism industry from all over India as well as globally to come to take interest in Punjab. The Government shall extend its support and cooperation and it would be hassle free since we have a single-window system. I would also like to invite investors to invest in Punjab and I assure you that all the support shall be provided from our end.
Above all, the people here are extremely loving and kind. They treat their guests like God. Come to Punjab, a state filled with colours and full of life and give us a chance to serve you.
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