Punjab Tourism Summit and Travel Mart Commences with a Grand Inaugural Ceremony

Punjab Tourism Summit and Travel Mart Commences with a Grand Inaugural Ceremony

Dignitaries at the Inaugral ceremony of Punjab Tourism Summit and Travel Mart in Mohali


The much-anticipated Punjab Tourism Summit and Travel Mart kicked off today with a grand inaugural ceremony at Amity University in Mohali. The extraordinary event, scheduled from September 11 to 13, signifies a pivotal moment in Punjab’s journey to become a premier global tourist hotspot.

The day witnessed an impressive gathering of esteemed speakers, industry leaders, and tourism enthusiasts from both India and abroad. The summit’s inauguration was graced by the Honourable Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr S Bhagwant Mann, making it a landmark occasion for showcasing Punjab’s rich cultural heritage and its commitment to fostering tourism growth.

Punjab Tourism Summit and Travel Mart Commences with a Grand Inaugural Ceremony

Honourable CM of Punjab, Mr S. Bhagwant Mann, addressing the inaugural ceremony of Punjab Tourism Summit and Travel Mart


The day’s agenda was packed with enlightening sessions and discussions, starting with the Travel Mart Inaugural Ceremony. After a warm welcome to all dignitaries, Mr Anurag Verma, IAS, Chief Secretary, Punjab, explained the purpose of the summit: “Rangla Punjab marks the beginning of a new era for tourism in Punjab, a brainchild of our Chief Minister. We are known for hospitality, yet when it comes to the hospitality industry, we are not one of the top rankers. None of our cities is a tourist or wedding destination. With this initiative combined with our abundance of heritage, traditions, and art forms, we are ready to transform Punjab into a global tourist destination. The objective today is to sit together with industry leaders as equal partners and brainstorm a concrete plan for the same.”

Ms Rakhee Gupta Bhandari, IAS Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, highlighted the government’s strong commitment to boosting tourism and creating opportunities for both visitors and locals. “Rangla Punjab is not just a dream; it is the vision that guides our Chief Minister’s governance. We have turned this vision into a reality in a remarkably short span of 31 days. Historically, the world has seen Punjab in a few hues: red for valour, yellow for sacrifice, and orange for our struggle for freedom. Through this initiative, we unveil the kaleidoscope of colours that Punjab truly is, promising travellers an unforgettable and diverse experience.

Punjab Tourism Summit and Travel Mart Commences with a Grand Inaugural Ceremony

Ms Rakhee Gupta Bhandari, IAS Principal Secretary, Department of Tourism & Cultural Affairs, Punjab at Punjab Tourism Summit


During her address, Ms Bhandari shed light on Punjab Tourism’s expansion beyond religious and historical travel. As the Land of Five Rivers, Punjab is ushering in a new era with water and adventure tourism, offering thrilling activities like river rafting and paragliding. Supporting the UN’s 5th SD goal, Rangla Punjab is also structured to empower women in tourism in Punjab. “With the Punjab Investment Business Development Policy (IBDP), we offer incentives to investors to elevate the state’s reputation for business-friendly policies,” she remarked.

The ceremony also featured distinguished personalities such as the producer and noted celebrity Kapil Sharma who appreciated Punjab Tourism’s initiative to promote the tourism and film industry in the State. He also emphasized to invite people from Bollywood to explore new destinations for film shooting. The ceremony also witnessed the presence of film producer Bobby Bedi, stand-up artist Sunil Pal, managing director of ITC Hotels Samir M. C., and vice president of Ramoji Film City A. V. Rao.

Ms. Anmol Gagan Maan, Tourism Minister, Punjab, shared insights into key thematic circuits in Punjab: Devotional (Rupnagar, Amritsar, Tarn Taran), Border Tourism (Amritsar, Ferozepur, Fazika) and Wellness (Rupnagar, Hoshiarpur, Gurdaspur, Pathankot), aligning with Punjab’s serene surroundings and rich cultural heritage. She highlighted the ambitious goals to promote water and adventure tourism and emphasised Punjab’s reputation for warm hospitality.

Amritsar gets 1.5 lakh religious tourists. About 50,000 of them also cover the Wagah border. Being the land of Bhagat Singh, we also have a lot of patriotic tourism. Our goal is to move beyond the two, so for the past year, we’ve been working on water and adventure tourism policies. The policy for wellness tourism is in the works. As a peace-loving land known for people who go above and beyond to share happiness, there is no better place to travel than Punjab in the current high-stress era.” said Ms Maan.

Punjab Tourism Summit and Travel Mart Commences with a Grand Inaugural Ceremony

Ms. Anmol Gagan Maan, Tourism Minsiter, Punjab addressing the inaugral cereemony of Punjab Tourism Summit and Travel Mart


To facilitate hassle-free investments, Punjab Tourism has established a single-window clearance system. Moreover, they have curated a festival calendar that celebrates unexplored parts of Punjab, such as Hola Mohalla in Ropar District and the iconic ‘Rangla Punjab’ festival, a 14-day celebration of food, colour, and culture held one day after Lohri.

The inaugural event concluded with the Honourable Chief Minister of Punjab, Mr S Bhagwant Mann, expressing his vision for the future. “Punjab is the land of the heart, and that’s what we want to show through Rangla Punjab. We possess all the elements needed to take tourism to uncharted heights, like being in a geographical sweet spot where tourists have to cross Punjab to reach many destinations. No wedding is complete without Punjabi food and songs,” he proclaimed, underlining Punjab’s potential as a prime tourist destination.

Pointing out that the state has the passion and social bonding to succeed, the CM flawlessly put it: “Every seed will sprout here, except the seed of hate.” He also spoke about building a ‘Celebration Point’ on the outskirts of Amritsar, introducing Film City to the state, and implementing flexible policies to boost tourism in Punjab. ‘Celebration Point’, consisting of a marriage palace, banquet hall, and more, is a one-stop point for all celebrations.

Following the inauguration, the summit’s thematic sessions were held post lunch covering a wide array of topics were moderated by KPMG, including Amritsar as a tourism destination (both religious & wedding aspects), hinterland & culinary tourism, eco & farm tourism (including adventure & water tourism and women in tourism), wellness tourism, media & entertainment, and heritage tourism.

The Punjab Tourism Summit and Travel Mart have already created a buzz, and the enthusiasm among attendees is palpable. As the event continues over the next two days, it promises to serve as a catalyst for Punjab’s tourism sector, setting the stage for a bright future in tourism.

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