Making most of the start of international flights, the Chandigarh administration has decided to promote the city as a preferred tourist destination on international flights operating from the Chandigarh International Airport.
Air India has started a flight to Sharjah, while IndiGo Airlines has announced a direct non-stop daily flight from Chandigarh to Dubai.
Since Capitol Complex bagged the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Status, the administration has started working on promoting Chandigarh as a tourist destination.
UT home secretary-and-secretary tourism Anurag Agarwal said: “We are drawing a strategy to promote Chandigarh. The department of tourism will place promotional material on the airlines. The department has asked the College of Arts to design the logos and other material.”
Agarwal added that they have also invited residents to pitch tourism jingles, slogans and film. The best jingles and taglines will be awarded.
“Chandigarh is seen more as a transit destination for tourists going to the hill stations. We are going to make efforts to change the trend. We need support from the local hospitality industry,” said Agarwal.
According to the official records, there has been a rise in the number of domestic tourists, but the number of foreign tourists has witnessed a dip in the last two years.
In 2013, a total of 40,124 foreigners – the highest so far – visited the city, while the number of domestic tourists was recorded at 9.36 lakh. The number of foreigners came down to 28,365 in 2014.
In the same year, as many as 10.61 lakh domestic tourists visited the city. The following year, 29,538 international tourists visited Chandigarh while the number of domestic tourists went up to 10.73 lakh.
Guides to be trained
The Institute of Hotel Management in association with the department of tourism are in the process of selecting guides who will be deployed at different tourists spots. Agarwal said: “Applications have been invited. A total of 50 persons will be selected and will be imparted training.”