While states like Rajasthan, Kerala & Goa have been attracting heaps of tourists since several years, one state has been silently, but warmly, inviting people. Gujarat. Little do people know about Gujjuland’s rich offerings and though most people go running to famous destinations like Jaipur and Shimla for vacations, ardent travellers (even Indians) come here with enough curiosity. Gujarat has spellbinding palaces (many of which have been converted into heritage hotels), tombs, mosques, forts and festivals to boast of.
Before my recent trip to Kerala, I spent time going through Kerala Tourism website and was mighty impressed. I appreciate the importance given by Government on tourism. This is exactly what I felt when I went through Gujarat Tourism website. For a state which does not have tourism as its main earning source, making such a splendid website is a big deal. Snagging Amitabh Bacchan to promote their state is also a big BIG deal.
I absolutely love the Gujarat Tourism logo. It depicts a lion (representing Gir Sanctuary) and a border design boasting of our rich crafts.
The home page has a photo slideshow of various destinations along with a warm welcome note.
Because the state is so diverse and there is so much to see / do here – from monuments to fairs to beaches to palaces, the website has categorized destinations according to areas and categories.
The most interesting section according to me is the heritage hotels section. I did not know that there are some 21 palaces converted into hotels in Gujarat! How I would love to visit them all! I have visited just one of them – House of MG, Ahmedabad – and must say that it is amazing. Everyone who visits Ahmedabad, must dine in this hotel.
In fact, I came to know of many places and monuments only after going through this website. And that’s how my feet took me to the interiors of Baroda to look at hidden monuments.
The importance laid on tourism is also evident from promotions done locally. Regular supplements, in the form of booklets, are given along with popular newspapers. I have read two on Gujarat Handicrafts and Monuments.
In August, Sardar Sarovar Dam was at the peak of its glory and thus frequented by lots of people. Gujarat Tourism put up banners all along the way, exhibiting various destinations. A huge stall was put up where huge photographs were lined up again in different categories – festivals, temples, monuments, forts, etc. A detailed map of the state showed monuments, food and items each town or city was famous for. This was one impressive work. A television showed tourism videos featuring Amitabh Bacchan. I was seeing those videos for the first time and was quite spellbound by them.
It was quite sad than no one was as mesmerized as we were. There were more people getting themselves photographed against the dummy decorative animals than studying the photographs. They must be proud of the kind of promotion and preservation Government is doing for their state’s history.