Bollywood actor and brand ambassador for West Bengal, Shah Rukh Khan, will be promoting Bengal as “the sweetest tourist destination” in an ad film by the state tourism department to attract domestic and foreign travellers. He is expected to come to Kolkata for two days by the end of October for an indoor shoot.
“We have roped in superstar Shah Rukh Khan for promoting tourist destinations in the state. West Bengal Tourism Development Corporation (WBTDC) has set aside Rs 8 crore for the ad film, for which we have hired the reputed agency Ogilvy & Mather for Rs 75 lakh. Darjeeling, Dooars, Bolpur and the sea-side tourist destinations would be among the touchpoints,” said state tourism minister Bratya Basu at a press conference on Wednesday.
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Basu said several films of at least one-minute duration would be prepared for the campaign, with the catchline ‘Experience Bengal – the sweetest part of India’.
Basu added that Shah Rukh is not charging any fees for the new ad-films. “He has said he would not take any money, but we know he is a professional actor and provisions have been made for his payment,” he said.
TMC MP and superstar of the Bengali film industry, Deepak Adhikary alias Dev, would also feature in the promotional campaign.
With the Durga Puja coming up in the third week of October, Basu also announced a host of package tours under which people can enjoy the festivities in the metropolis and other parts of the state. “Along with south Bengal, the department for the first time has also arranged for three puja packages on Astami (October 20) and Dashami (October 22). The 11-hour trip would begin from Teesta Paryatak Abas and Mainak Tourist Lodge and tourists would be taken to some of the famous pujas of Jalpaiguri along with a visit to Dooars Forests, Cooch Behar Rajbari,” he said.
Basu said there would be other regular puja tour packages, along with a special tour for foreign journalists as well. “On Dashami (October 22), about 50 journalists from Europe, America and other countries have been invited to take part in a tour on River Ganga,” he said.
The minister also said the state was looking at a number of projects under the PPP model to come up with upmarket as well as budget hotels and resorts at tourist destinations. “At Gajoldoba in Jalpaiguri district, Sterling Holiday and Resort Ltd would build a star category eco-resort while Seal Tea Export Pvt Ltd and Gangadhar Developer Pvt Ltd would put up budget category eco-resorts. Shikaria Infra Project Pvt Ltd will also build a resort on PPP model over 75 acre at Sabuj Dweep in Hooghly district. Techno India Group would build a budget category resort at Jharkhali in South-24 Parganas,” he said.