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Shah Rukh Khan likely to feature in West Bengal tourism's new TVC

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KOLKATA: Bollywood superstar and Indian Premiere League?s (IPL) Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) franchise owner Shah Rukh Khan is likely to feature in the forthcoming new tourism television campaign for West Bengal. It is learnt that the new TVC will be ready in three months.

The state government has given the brand-building exercise to Ogilvy & Mather. Additionally, a global consultant - HVS - has also been hired to help prepare a ?Vision Document? for the state.

Fairly large contingents from the UK, Australia, Thailand and Sri Lanka will gather at the CII-organised Destination East, the largest buyer-seller tourism meet billed for 6-7 February at Town Hall, Kolkata?s heritage showpiece. More than 25 countries are likely to participate in Destination East.

These four countries are among a total of 25, including the US, China, France Germany, Singapore, Switzerland, Sweden, Japan and Bangladesh from which tourism stakeholders will interact with their counterparts in the eastern region.

?This is a forum where we wish to share with the global delegates our incentive schemes for any investor keen to put money in tourism projects in the State,? said state?s Principal Secretary of the tourism department AR Bardhan.

?We will offer cash-based incentives on projects,? said Bardhan.

?We are going on a major brand-building exercise. O&M, has been hired to do the job. Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan is likely to feature in the forthcoming new tourism television campaign for West Bengal,? he said, adding that the new TVC will be ready in three months.

He also disclosed that the state government will build motel-cum-wayside facilities every 30 km along the routes to major tourism destinations, including the Sunderbans and Digha. ?This will be a reality in six months? time. A global consultant called HVS has been hired to help prepare a comprehensive Vision Document for West Bengal,? he said.

HVS has provided consulting services and solutions to more than 60 countries for hotels, shared ownership and leisure assets.

?The 10-year Vision Document seeks to double the growth of five per cent in inward tourist flow from both domestic market and international countries,? he added.

?Efforts are on to showcase Kolkata as the ?Cultural Capital? and MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conference and Exhibition) destination. One of our objectives is also to enable one to drive to Sunderbans within two hours from Kolkata at a speed of 80 kmph,? he added.

Apeejay Surendra Park Hotels Ltd managing director Vijay Dewan added, ?Considerable money and energy is being devoted to improving roads.?

Dewan also narrated how Destination East has evolved into a powerful platform in the past five years for domestic tourism stakeholders to promote West Bengal to the international travel fraternity. This initiative has been generating a fair amount of business over the past few years.

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