The West Bengal government is planning to promote theme-based packages for foreign tourists who wish to know about the culture and traditions of the people residing in India. Besides the Durga Puja celebrations, which has indeed become a major crowd puller, the state tourism department is preparing a ‘bridal tourism’ package to showcase the rituals of Bengali marriages to foreigners and seek their participation in the event.
“The bridal tourism package will offer foreigners a chance to witness the colourful rituals of a Bengali marriage. They will find it interesting as they are not accustomed to anything like this three-day long gala at Bengali homes,” said West Bengal Tourism Minister Gautam Deb.
The detaails of the package, such as ways to connect the tourists to the households where marriages would be held, are being chalked out at the moment, Minister said. The guests will be able to witness from close quarters the ‘haldi’ or ‘gayey halud’ ceremony (turmeric smearing), exchange of garlands, and sindur daan (vermilion ritual). The tourists will also get a taste of the lavish Bengali spread at the wedding and the reception ceremony,” he said.
At a recent meet with travel operators from different parts of the globe, including the US, UK, Russia and Australia, the minister had promised a unique experiences for tourists. The state tourism department is currently working on a plan to offer a diverse portfolio of niche products, cruises, adventure, wellness, medical and education, besides homestays.
West Bengal ranks fifth among the Indian states in terms of foreign tourist arrivals, ahead of Rajasthan, Goa and Kerala, the minister noted. The tourism sector of the state has created around 5,00,000 jobs over the past few years, the minister said, adding that West Bengal is home to almost all major hotel and hospitality, health resorts, and restaurant chains.