With focus on adventure, ecotourism & culture, 1st Rangla Punjab Tourism Summit opens in Mohali

Aiming to position Punjab as entertainment industry hub, Mann ropes in Kapil Sharma & Bobby Bedi


September 12, 2023

/ By / Mohali, Punjab

With focus on adventure, ecotourism & culture, 1st Rangla Punjab Tourism Summit opens in Mohali

Rangla Punjab Tourism Summit in Mohali highlights Punjab as a premier tourism spot, with a focus on adventure and ecotourism

First Rangla Punjab Tourism Summit that began in Mohali on Monday, seeking to position Punjab as a premiere tourism destination for a variety of experiences, ranging from adventure to ecotourism. In presence of leading names of Indian entertainment industry like television celebrity host Kapil Sharma and Bollywood director Bobby Bedi, Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann lays special emphasis on developing the entertainment industry in Punjab.

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Punjab’s journey towards becoming a premiere tourism destination in India kicked off to a rousing start as Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann inaugurated the 1st Rangla Punjab Tourism Summit in a packed house in Mohali on Monday.

In his inaugural speech, Mann said that it was a pity that none of the previous governments had thought of organising a dedicated travel and tourism summit in Punjab, so that it could be showcased to the whole world. “So, within 18 months of taking power, we have not only conceived, but also organised our first Rangla Punjab Tourism Summit and I can assure all of you that my government will continue to promote Punjab as a tourism destination on a continuous basis, across the world,’’ Mann told the gathering, that included tourism industry stakeholders from Punjab as well as rest of India and several foreign delegates.

Mann said that due to lack of focus on tourism by the previous governments, Punjab had failed to develop its tourism industry. He added that even though Punjab the state had an immense wealth of tourism sites and experiences, most of it remained unknown to people, even those living in Punjab. “We will develop and bring these sites not just to the locals or Indian tourists, but also travellers across the world,’’ Mann said.

In her address, Tourism and Culture Minister of Punjab, Anmol Gagan Mann said that the planning for the summit had begun over a year ago and that its main objective was to showcase the immense diversity of experiences that Punjab offers to tourists from across India and even the whole world. “From heritage buildings like palaces and forts to numerous virgin spots for ecotourism and water sports, Punjab is a treasure trove of opportunities for development of tourism. Our cuisine is so diverse and so popular that you can find it all over the world. And our music and dance are already so popular that even people who don’t know anything about India know of Punjabi music and its vibrant beats,’’ she said.

With many unique tourism projects that can be developed here, Punjab is an opportunity waiting to be tapped by the industry and investors, says Mann

Both, the Chief Minister and Tourism Minister, highlighted the rich opportunities that the state provided to investors in tourism industry. “With many unique tourism projects that can be developed here, Punjab is an opportunity waiting to be tapped by the industry and investors. We provide a single-window clearance for all the necessary paperwork and we can assure you that you will not face any hurdle in bringing your project to life in the shortest possible timeframe and without any headaches of clearances, which we will undertake for you,’’ Bhagwant Mann said.

In her address, Rakhee Gupta Bhandari, Principal Secretary of Tourism, said that Punjab would be undertaking several promotional activities to bring more tourists to Punjab and that the government was looking to develop several itineraries and trails for the travel industry to be able to sell. “We will have unique offers of heritage trail, ecotourism trail, adventure tourism trails as well as a culinary trail, or even a specific Kulcha trail,’’ she told the meeting, referring to Kulcha, a popular bread of Amritsar.

Developing Punjab as entertainment industry hub

Mann emphasised making Punjab an entertainment industry hub with comprehensive services for film and television

In his address Mann also laid special emphasis on developing Punjab as an entertainment industry hub, providing end-to-end services for the film and television industry. Mann said that even though Punjab had produced some of the greatest names in the Indian entertainment industry, unfortunately the state had failed to develop an entertainment industry to large enough to not only retain the local talent, but also attract others from outside.

To make his point, Mann had roped in several leading stars of the entertainment industry, notably celebrity television host Kapil Sharma and leading producer-director Bobby Bedi, both of whom promised their full support in making Mann’s dream come true. “I am here at your call and I will be available for whatever you need me to do in order to develop Punjab’s entertainment industry,’’ said Sharma in his address. He added that the state had immense talent which was already seen all over the world and with a proper focus and planning, the industry could indeed be developed in Punjab.

Bedi also highlighted that Punjab was already a major destination for films being shot and that with proper development of infrastructure, the entertainment industry can emerge as a major player in Punjab, providing millions of jobs.

Even though it was the first such effort by Punjab Tourism, response of the attendees was extremely positive. Davashish Srivastava is Senior Director Development South Asia of the Radisson Hotel Group. “We already have 10 properties in Punjab and have six in the pipeline. We are very happy with the growth of tourism in Punjab and our own experience here has been very encouraging, so we will keep looking for new opportunities to expand our footprint in the state, which already represents over 10 pc of our total presence in India,’’ Srivastava told Media India Group.

Amarindar Singh Chopra, who was a panelist on a session on ecotourism at the Tourism Summit, founded an ecotourism resort, Kikar Lodge, near wetlands of Ropar over 30 years ago and which has grown consistently since. Chopra was happy with the initiative taken by the government. “It is an important first step by the government and I am glad that they have taken it and am sure that this will lead to growth of tourist footfall in Punjab and develop it as a wholesome tourism destination, not just in India but overseas also,’’ Chopra told Media India Group.

Famous Indian chef Manjit Singh Gill was one of the panelists on a session on Punjab as a culinary destination. A passionate advocate of Punjabi cuisine, Gill called for action at various levels to not only preserve the rich culinary heritage of Punjab, but also to ensure that the traditions are passed on to future generations, through proper training at the various hospitality and culinary training schools in the state.

Gill says he is glad that the government has at last recognised the importance of tourism and the major role played by cuisine in promoting the destination. “I am certain that this summit will lead to development of new initiatives and at last the government will promote food in the way it should be, as an anchor of tourism,’’ Gill told Media India Group.

In the evening, a rich cultural extravaganza was presented for the invitees, showcasing the variety of music and dances in Punjab, as dozens of students from various universities and colleges across the state, turned up to mesmerise the audience with their performances.

The Summit continues today with B2B meetings and a travel exposition.



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