top of page

Punjab Tourism Policy

Tourism Policy




"Today, after years of sustained and consistent growth, tourism has become one of the fastest growing economic sectors in the world. Tourism has become one of the major players in international commerce, and represents at the same time one of the main income sources for many developing countries and resultant socio-economic benefits for the local people. Modern day tourism is characterized by inclusive and sustainable economic growth; social inclusiveness, employment generation and poverty alleviation; resource efficiency, environmental preservation and climate change; cultural values, diversity and heritage; and mutual understanding, peace and security".











The Global Tourism Scenario

1. Over the years, tourism has seen‎ rapid diversification to become one of the fastest growing economic sectors the world over. Tourism accounts for 10 per cent of global GDP, 7 per cent of total world exports and 30 per cent of world services exports. International tourist arrivals have recorded an average 4 per cent or more annual growth since 2009, and for the first time, reached the one billion mark in 2012. One in eleven jobs globally comes from tourism, and therefore, modern tourism is closely associated with employment and income generation, and development, and has assumed the role of a key driver for socio-economic‎ progress of developing countries.

2. In 2016, international tourism recorded 1235 million international/cross border

movements, achieving a growth of 3.90 per cent over 2015. During the same year, the total tourist expenditure touched US $ 1220 billion, recording a growth of 2.0 per cent over 2015.

The Regional Tourism Scenario

3. Asia and the Pacific region was one of the fastest growing regions in the world. The region recorded 308 million international tourists in 2016, achieving a growth of 8.6 per cent over 2015. The total tourist expenditure during the same year was US$ 366.70 billion, recording a growth of 4.8 per cent over 2015.

The National Tourism Scenario

4. Tourism in India too has seen a consistent growth over the past decade. International tourism to India grew from 2.54 million in 2005 to 8.80 million in 2016, showing an increase of almost 220 percent. Tourism also continues to play an important role in country’s foreign exchange earnings. In 2016, foreign exchange earnings (FEE) from tourism were US $ 22.92 billion, recording a growth of 8.8 per cent over 2015.

5. The domestic tourism scene in India, likewise, has been very encouraging. While domestic tourist visits in 2001 were 237 million, the number grew to 1631.55 million in 2016, showing an increase of almost 505 per cent over a period of 15 years. Domestic tourist movements in 2016 recorded a growth of 12.7 per cent over 2015 which was 1431.97 million.

Tourism in Punjab

6. With its rich and varied cultural, and historical and religious heritage, natural and scenic beauty, human-made attractions, a wealth of folklore, fairs, festivals, cuisine, arts and crafts, and above all, a very warm and hospitable people, Punjab has all the elements which a destination can ever aspire for. The State, both the granary and shield of India, enjoys a high

per capita income and living standards. The State has made huge investments in the tourism and culture sector in recent years which was possible due to financial resources devoted by the State Government out of its own budget as well as the assistance provided by the Asian Development Bank through the IDIPT project.


7. Some of the recent initiatives of the State government have started yielding good results. During 2016, there were a total of 6,59,736 international tourists who visited the State as compared to 2,42,579 in 2015 while the number of domestic tourists was 3,87,03,325 in 2016 as against 2,57,96,379 in 2015. This made Punjab 13 in rank in domestic arrivals and 10 in foreign tourist arrivals in the country.

8. Punjab has a glorious history and it is famous as the land of the great Sikh Gurus. It has a world-class heritage of religious shrines, forts and palaces, ancient and historical monuments, wetlands and areas of natural beauty. It is also famous for its handicrafts, woodcrafts and intricately designed rich traditional patterns, motifs and needlework products. The city of Ludhiana has emerged as a great production center for woolen garments and bicycles. Due to its rich historical legacies, forts, religious shrines, wetlands, arts and handicrafts, the State offers a wide variety of savors to all kinds of visitors.

9. The Government recognizes and appreciates the potential of tourism in the State as the

game changer. This updated policy document builds on the earlier Punjab Tourism Policy 2003 and embodies the Government’s vision of tourism as an engine of inclusive growth through sustainable and responsible tourism. The government is well conversant of the UNWTO’s ‘Global Code of Ethics for Tourism’ and its underlying ten principles, which broadly cover the economic, social, cultural and environmental dimensions of travel and tourism, viz.

• tourism's contribution to mutual understanding and respect between peoples and societies;

• tourism as a vehicle for individual and collective fulfillment;

• tourism, a factor of sustainable development;

• tourism, a user of the cultural heritage of mankind and contributor to its enhancement;

• tourism, a beneficial activity for host countries and communities;

• obligations of stakeholders in tourism development;

• right to tourism;

• liberty of tourist movements;

• rights of the workers and entrepreneurs in the tourism industry; and

• implementation of the principles of the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism.

10. A conscious and concerted effort has been made by the Government of Punjab to incorporate these codal principles in this policy.



Definition and Purpose of a Government Tourism Policy

11. A short definition of public policy is: “a course or principle of action adopted and pursued by a government to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes1”. This definition could be broadened as: “a purposive and consistent course of action produced as a response to a perceived problem of a constituency, formulated by a specific political process, and adopted, implemented, and enforced by public agency(ies).” The implications of this definition include the following:

- Public policy is decided by specific organs of government through established procedures.

- “Purposive and consistent course of action" suggests goals and the absence of logical contradictions.

- The phrase "produced as a response to a perceived problem of a constituency" implies that government is responsive to its citizens and voters.

- The policy should result in actions that must be administered, implemented and put into practice in a manner consistent with the stated intentions.

- The action that might bring about a public policy must adopt a definite directional path and it needs to be identified which organization(s) has jurisdiction and might feasibly respond.

- Usually, a policy statement is followed by formal adoption, appropriate legislation, executive order, or administrative rule-making, all of which becomes legally binding.

12. Essentially tourism destination strategy provides a “game plan” or decision-making

guide for ensuring that the policy is implemented optimally. It is a general, undetailed plan of action, encompassing a long period of time, to achieve the policy goals2. As there is always an element of uncertainty about the future, strategy is more about a set of options ("strategic considerations") than a fixed plan. Two elements underpin the rationale for strategy, namely:

• It guides considerations in allocating finances and manpower for implementing the policy because the available resources are seldom adequate; and

• It is all about gaining (or being prepared to gain) a position of advantage over competing destinations or best-exploiting emerging possibilities.;;



13. Tactics is the tool to implement strategy, and is subordinated to the main goal of strategy. Tactics are the actual means used to gain an objective, while strategy is the overall campaign plan, which may involve complex operational patterns, activity, and decision-making that lead to tactical execution.

• The policy is typically contained in a formal policy document which will be adopted, and will normally be followed by legislation that will enable and ensure adherence.

• The strategy is generally contained in one or more strategic plans, formulated by the institutions that are mandated to ensure implementation of the policy.

• The tactics are usually contained in the annual action plans of the various parties and partner organizations involved in implementing the strategy.

Policy Strategy Tactics

Five-year Tourism Policy Three-year Tourism Growth Annual Organizational
Action Plan(s)
Document Plan

Enabling Legislation and Regulations



14. The policy vision and goal(s) aim at attracting high-value tourism through responsible

and sustainable development of sensitive tourism resources, will constitute the core of the State’s tourism policy. The policy includes key principles that underpin the vision (e.g. local communities’ involvement, concentration on small and medium-sized business development, an emphasis on local job and income creation, special consideration for women and youth, environmental preservation and conservation, etc.), and set long-term targets for tourism growth and establish the positioning upon which Punjab as a destination will differentiate itself from other competing tourism destinations. The policy provides a range of statements to voice the Government’s intent regarding sustainable development, cultural preservation, development of arts, community/rural-based tourism advancement, small business stimulation, human resource development, training for enterprises, attracting and hosting tourism markets and segments within these markets, etc. It clarifies the roles and responsibilities of the various agencies involved in tourism and develop an institutional framework for implementing and advancing the policy.

15. Flowing from the policy, the strategic plan (strategy), to be ed at a later stage, will provide specific, actionable guidelines for achieving the policy goals and statements over the next three to five years. This would typically include measurable growth targets, a brand identity for communicating the market positioning, a target market strategy (e.g. touring segments, specific cultural and rural tourism niche markets, etc.), priority cultural product

development initiatives, specific incentives for small business development in tourism- related arts and cultural industries, outline of training programmes and initiatives, suggested marketing thrusts and campaigns, pilot community projects, partnership opportunities with the private sector, etc. There would ideally be a single destination strategy, with all public and private partners following and supporting the same strategic guidelines and reviewing it regularly to ensure it remains in tune with macro-economic and social goals. The strategic plan would include an outline implementation plan over the lifespan of the strategy indicating programmes, priorities, outline budgets, indicative time frames and parties/agencies involved.

16. Following the policy and strategic guidelines, various tactical, immediate actions emanating from the destination strategy will be included in the annual action plans of parties involved in tactical implementation. These usually include a variety of Government Departments (e.g. Culture, Transport, Environment, etc.) the PHTPB and other government agencies, private sector associations and companies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), community based organizations (CBOs), etc. In many cases, the tourism aspects will form a small part of a partner’s overall action plan. The action plans will contain detailed actions to implement and monitor the tourism strategic plan over a short time span (e.g. a financial or a calendar year) with clear actions, timeframes, responsible parties, budgets, etc. The action plans of the various implementing partners would be regularly coordinated based on the strategy, with the Department of Tourism/PHTPB taking the lead in this regard.



17. The policy vision for the next five years is to establish Punjab as a world-class destination, offering a unique, different and memorable experience to tourists, ensuring sustainable and responsible tourism development, and firmly turning tourism into an engine for fostering socio-economic development in the State.


18. The Government’s mission is to work relentlessly to double the annual tourist visits in the State from 25 million to 50 million in the next five years by creating new infrastructure and improving the existing one, particularly on site facilities such as access roads, parking lots, public toilets, food and beverage retail outlets, appropriate product development, promoting tourism through effective and efficient marketing and promotion campaigns, forging partnerships with private sector for investments in tourism-related projects, building linkages with travel and tourism trade, and development of appropriate human resources to provide quality services and facilities to tourists.


19. The State's tourism policy is based on the following pillars (but not limited to, and not listed in the order of priority), and as the policy rolls on and strategies and tactical plans are put into place, more pillars may be added as the situation warrants. Thus, the tourism policy framework will enjoy a considerable amount of flexibility and the ability to adapt itself to ever-changing, economic, social and political scenarios. The policy is not static but a dynamic one, and would remain proactive throughout its life cycle.

• Tourism Advisory Council

20. A Tourism Advisory Council (TAC), chaired by the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, with the Principal Secretary for Tourism and the Director of Tourism as members, would be constituted to guide and supervise the policy implementation. The TAC would be responsible for inter-departmental coordination on matters concerning other government departments which are directly or indirectly involved in the tourism sector in the State; coordination with the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India; consultation and collaboration with the private sector, especially the accommodation sector and the travel trade; media relations; investors;

major marketing and promotion campaigns; and other policy decisions. The TAC would co-opt members from the private sector, NGOs, community leaders, professional/educational institutions, academics, Archaeological Survey of India, and other organizations/agencies on "needs" basis.

One of the major responsibilities of the TAC would be to carry out regular review and monitoring of the policy and strategy implementation, provide appropriate guidelines to implementing agents, and take corrective actions, wherever required. The overall planning,


development and marketing process would have an in-built mechanism for qualitative and quantitative monitoring through periodical action audits.

As and when required, the TAC may approach the Hon. Chief Minister and/or the Council of Ministers for appropriate decision-making and guidance.

In the absence of the Minister for Tourism, the TAC would be chaired by the Principal Secretary of the Department of Tourism.

• Infrastructure and Superstructure Development

21. The State would make constant efforts to improve the existing infrastructure at

established destinations as well as to create new infrastructure at potential destinations. Infrastructure improvement/development would include access roads, water and power supply, street lighting, solid waste disposal, medical facilities, communications, landscaping, and any other action(s) required to make destinations appealing and attractive to tourists. The development of superstructure would follow infrastructure development. This would include accommodation units, food and beverage retail outlets, local transport services, guides, small kiosks, collateral materials, and other tourist services and facilities which would add to the overall quality of tourists' experience. The qualitative and quantitative monitoring of the progress of infrastructure and superstructure development would fall directly under the ambit of the TAC.

• Product Development and Diversification

22. Currently, product development and diversification in Punjab is at a standstill with over-reliance on the products which were established many years ago and are now showing signs of

“product fatigue”. To an extent, they are also becoming stale with the consequence that the percentage of repeat visitation to Punjab is extremely low with the exception of the Golden Temple. Therefore, there is a great need to adopt a policy of new product development and diversification, both, thematic and geographical, bearing in mind the following essential elements:

Further product development and diversification would be a continuous process. Efforts would be made to identify resources which are not ‘run of the mill’ resources but those which are different and unique, and have the capacity to develop on a ‘stand-alone’ basis. This would ensure a new and different experience for tourists.

Any product development and diversification exercise would be undertaken after an extensive site inspection and taking into account factors such as connectivity, proximity to markets, existing infrastructure, resource evaluation, outdoor activities which can be offered, and demand analysis.

Particular attention would be paid to the development of specialized trails attractive to new markets and segments (e.g. adventure tourism, cuisine tourism).

Travel trade would be actively involved in product development so that their assessment can be taken into account with specific regard to demand, markets and specific segments.


Adequate care will be taken to ensure that product development exemplifies the authenticity of the tourism and cultural resources of the State.

d) Rural Tourism and Local Community Development

23. It is common knowledge that a growing segment of urban population is interested in visiting the rural areas and understanding their perspective leading to an increase in demand for rural tourism. The development of rural tourism is the consequence of emerging changes in rural areas resulting in diversification and broadening of activities.

24. Rural tourism is first and foremost a matter of rich and attractive supply which must be appropriately packaged for domestic and international demand. It is indeed a source of synergy through partnerships – a stimulus for the involvement of communities, local authorities and institutional cooperation.

25. There is no doubt that rural tourism is indeed an integral and significant component of the State’s tourism product, with infinite appeal for international and domestic tourists. It not only offers a unique experience but also development opportunities to local communities.

26. While preparing a classified and qualitative inventory of the tourism resources of the State, it was concluded that Punjab has extremely attractive resources for the development of

rural tourism which have tremendous potential to be converted into viable and attractive products having an appeal for a wide range of domestic and international markets. Rural tourism can form an essential and integral link in the overall product chain of Punjab. The development of rural tourism would not only broaden the tourism product base of the State but also ensure that the economic benefits of tourism accrue to the rural population by creating job and income opportunities, particularly for women and youth.

27. The Government of Punjab would take the advantage of the rich rural attractions of the State and integrate it as a significant component of its tourism product. However, the following elements must be kept in mind while undertaking rural tourism development:

28. The State Government is of the firm view that a rural tourism community development initiative cannot succeed without the active participation and involvement of local communities. Any such initiative should aim to achieve a high level of inclusive growth. A well-

structured and well-planned rural tourism with focus on poverty alleviation can significantly bring long-term benefits to local communities and disadvantaged groups.

29. It is therefore imperative that any planning and development process should adopt a consultative approach to take the opinion and views of local communities into account. The State would give special consideration to create job, income and entrepreneurship opportunities for women and youth (including tourism’s supply chains) which would lead to their economic and social empowerment.


30. Identification of rural tourism sites, circuit or clusters is critical and requires detailed site visits, stakeholder meetings and professional expertise, using baseline parameters of the tourism asset base, local community interest, tourism industry expectation, connectivity with other tourism locations and the rural-urban link.

31. At the same time, it is the joint responsibility of the public and private sector to ensure that comprehensive policies, strategies and enforcement instruments are in place to
mainstream sustainability in rural tourism development.

32. The State would make every possible effort to make optimal use of environmental resources, respect the socio-cultural authenticity of the resources, and conserve tangible and intangible heritage.

33. Similarly, constant endeavors would be made to ensure the economic and financial viability of rural enterprises, reduce the leakages, and further strengthen the backward and forward linkages.

e) Public Private Sector Partnership

34. As is universally acknowledged, effective public-private sector partnership is indeed critical for the success of any tourism development initiative. While the public sector’s role would focus on policy and strategy formulation, legislation and regulation, sustainable development, macro-level marketing and promotion, and creation of a conducive climate for the sector’s growth, the private sector’s role would mainly concern operation and management of services and facilities with due emphasis on quality, micro-level marketing and promotion, and providing a rich and unforgettable experience to tourists.

35. The State and the public sector as a whole will take all major policy and strategic decisions after ascertaining the views of the private sector. The underlying idea is that all

critical decisions must have the ownership of both the sectors. There would be a regular

consultative process between the public and private sector through the constitution of a Coordination Committee. Seminars and workshops would be organized more frequently which

would not only ensure exchange of ideas but also review and monitoring of the development process.

36. Public and private sector would collaborate to issue periodical news bulletins for the media and the public at large to heighten the awareness about tourism sector's development
in the State, and its social, economic and environmental benefits.

f) Support to Small and Medium-scale Enterprises

37. Small and medium-scale tourism enterprises should be motivated to provide a high-quality tourism experience to tourists. To ensure this, it is essential to facilitate investments in setting up facilities and services, and their regular maintenance in order to meet basic quality standards.


38. Special plans would be drawn up to support the development of local enterprises to operate small businesses in both urban and rural areas, home-stays, guest houses, campsites, catering, transport and related ancillary facilities. Local enterprises would be provided with business development services in areas such as business planning, financial management, product development and packaging, human resource development, and marketing.

39. The public sector would take appropriate measures to offer micro-finance opportunities (e.g. soft loans, working capital, matching grants), and fiscal and monetary incentives to these enterprises.

g) Linkages with Travel Trade

40. The international tourism and travel industry recognizes tour operators as “interpreters and coordinators of tourism demand, be it national or international”. The definition is apt because it is tour operators who conduct continuous research in domestic and international markets, are familiar with the market trends, have in depth knowledge of established and potential markets and segments within these markets, and have profile of tourists and their travel habits and preferences. In short, they have a perpetual finger on the market pulse. Stretching a little too far, it is often said that tour operators can often make or break a destination.

41. The Government of Punjab would soon promulgate a strategy for the registration and

accreditation of tour operators to derive optimum benefits from their experience and expertise.

42. The tour operators shall be divided into two distinct categories: international and domestic. They would be further sub-divided: international tour operators who specialize in handling NRI business and domestic tour operators who have a specific interest in rural tourism. To achieve this, the Government will forge special alliances with the Indian Association of Tour operators (IATO) and the Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India (ADTOI).

43. A register of accredited tour operators shall be maintained by PHTPB which will provide them with all the information pertaining to tourism development in the State, new developments in the pipeline for advance marketing and market awareness, and ongoing and new marketing and promotion activities.

44. PHTPB will provide the tour operators kit for promotional activities, assist them with

electronic brochure support whereby a page or two are specially devoted to Punjab, invite them for familiarization tours (FAMTOURS) so that they can get first-hand information of the tourism product(s) of the State, and involve them in domestic and international trade fairs and road shows for the joint marketing and promotion of Punjab as an attractive destination.

45. These steps would ensure in the long-term that Punjab earns the loyalty of registered tour operators who would have an obligation to market Punjab through their own channels.


h) Leisure and Recreation

46. Leisure has often been defined as a quality of experience or as free time. Free time is spent away from business, work, domestic chores, and education, as well as necessary activities such as eating and sleeping. Leisure as experience usually emphasizes dimensions of perceived freedom and choice. Other definitions as synonyms include free time, spare time, idle hours, time off, breathing space, respite, relief, ease, peace and quiet.

47. With the hustle and bustle of urban areas and modern high-pressured life, more and more people are looking for avenues to undertake leisure activities away from their living environment. They prefer to take short breaks, away from the world of laptops and mobile phones, and in relative peace and calm. They are looking for opportunities which are far from the madding crowd, in peace and serenity, where nature is still nature – unhurried, uncommon and unspoilt- where they can pursue some of their hobbies, catch a fish, read a book, paint a picture, capture photographs, take a nap in sylvan surroundings or simply do nothing at all and do it beautifully.

48. As part of its tourism policy, the Government of Punjab intends to set up leisure areas at selected locations in the State for people who are looking for leisure and solitude.
To achieve this objective, the State Government will select suitable locations in different parts

of the State where leisure areas can be located. These areas can be in the foothills of the Shivaliks or at locations such as Harike Wetlands, Kanjili Wetlands or the Keshopur Community Reserve in Gurdaspur. The areas would be selected on the following basis:

- scenic and natural beauty;
- not much habitation around;
- easily accessible;
- has enough land for parking and setting up catering and toilet facilities; and
- availability of water and power supply.

49. The State Government would select the areas based on the aforementioned parameters and landscape them with the assistance of a qualified landscape architect. Every care would be taken to ensure that the original character of the site such as land contours, are maintained and the landscaping is done in such a way that it merges with the local environment. The initiative would be implemented on public private sector partnership, with the Government providing

landscaped sites, and power and water supply, while the private sector would provide food and beverage services, parking facilities, and paid toilets.


i) Tapping the Untapped Potential of NRIs

50. According to latest statistics, Indians are the largest diaspora population in the world. A little more than 20 million Indians live abroad in almost all the continents. The largest Indian non- Middle Eastern, non-South African and non-African population is in the United States of America (3,183,063), followed by the United Kingdom (1,451,862), Canada (1,200,000), Australia (390,000), Italy (160,000), Germany (112,000) and France (85,000).

While most of the Indian diaspora living in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia are second or third generation Indians, those living in Italy, Germany and France are still the first generation but gradually moving on to the second generation. Many Indians in the USA, UK and Canada fall into the category of billionaires and millionaires, a majority of them are professionals (doctors, engineers, IT specialists, scientists, lawyers and academics) while others run medium and small scale businesses.

51. A quick review of the profile of Indians living in selected aforementioned countries would reveal that they have double-income households, own real estate, have more than one vehicle, their children go to private schools and universities and, have substantial savings. They generally take two holidays (many combine business with pleasure), a short holiday of 7-10 days which is closer to their place of residence, and another one which is long-haul and may last up to 3-4 weeks. This trend is a clear indicator that they have disposable time and income.

52. The profile further reveals that overseas Indians who generally visit India belong to the first or second generation and, do so for religious purposes and family events such as weddings, birthdays and anniversaries. A majority of them stay with relatives and friends, do not use any commercial facilities, and they generally play it by the ear when the occasion comes to decide what to do and where to go. Often their travel within India is decided by their friends or relatives and is not guided by their own tastes and preferences.

53. The current generation of Indians abroad (both second and/or third generation), for a variety of reasons, do not choose India as their holiday destination, and, instead, prefer to go to California, Miami, Las Vegas, Mexico and the Caribbean (in the case of USA), those in Canada go to the USA or to the uninhabited areas of Canada, those living in the U.K. opt for Scotland or mainland Europe while those living in Germany, Italy and France prefer either Scandinavia or warmer destinations within Europe such as Spain and Portugal for beach holidays. For Australians, the preferred destination is either New Zealand or smaller island nations of the South Pacific.

54. Unfortunately, no structured effort has been made by India or any Indian state to target this particular segment of the overseas Indians. Thus, they skip India for lack of information or knowledge of what India has to offer by way of a well-established and mature destination with a variety of attractions for every age, every pocket and every taste.

The Government of Punjab will come up with a dedicated set of strategies to specifically target the second and third generation overseas Indians in selected international markets and


motivate them to visit Punjab, keeping in view the fact that a large proportion of overseas Indians in these markets comprise Sikhs and Punjabis.

The dedicated strategy would comprise the following:

• Based on the statistics provided by the Ministry of Tourism, and the PHTPB, individual marketing and promotion plans would be drawn up for each selected market. These would include electronic and print advertising, electronic informative media campaigns, marketing through tour operators and travel agents, special contacts with interest groups to aim at group visitation (banks, insurance companies, clubs, etc.) and participation in trade fairs and exhibitions such as ITB, Berlin and WTM, London.

• A dedicated unit would be created within the Marketing Department of the Punjab Tourism and Heritage Promotion Board (PHTPB) to look after NRI visitors.

• Regular electronic mailing and print material would be provided to the tour operators who are based in these markets with regular updates. For this purpose, full use will be made of the tour operators database prepared by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

• Wherever possible, promotional visits to these markets would be undertaken by the Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, the Principal Secretary and the Director of Tourism.

• Whenever possible, road shows will be organized in these markets showcasing the wide variety of attractions that Punjab has to offer. This is proposed to be achieved in collaboration with the Government of India Tourist offices in London, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Frankfurt, Milan Paris and Sydney.

• Marketing and promotion campaigns would be primarily thematic in nature and based on themes such as “Trace your Roots”, “Punjab Retreat”, “Taste Punjab”, “Punjab in Style”, “Festive Punjab”, and “Punjab Agritours”.

• Every possible effort would be made by Punjab Tourism to ensure that the visit by NRIs is not confined to sightseeing but shift towards experience.

• The website of Punjab Tourism would have a dedicated page for NRIs in which all the relevant information of contemporary interest to NRIs would be provided.


• In addition to advance marketing and promotion at the point of generation of visitors who like to travel with a pre-determined and fixed itinerary, special marketing campaigns would be launched to attract visitors who are already in Punjab on a flexible itinerary and motivate them to visit places of tourist interest in the State.

j) Promotion of Medical Tourism

55. Owing to the economical but effective cost of treatment as compared with the expenses incurred in Western countries, India is fast becoming a destination for Medical travel. Over the years Punjab has established itself as a preferred destination for Healthcare and travel for Medical purposes. At present world class Hospital infrastructure is available in Punjab where advance treatment and services by qualified and professional doctors are available. Government of India has already developed a policy on medical tourism and issued guidelines for the promotion of medical tourism. Visa norms for the medical tourism have also been made easier. As such, there is a large scope for the State of Punjab to promote medical tourism in the

State. In order to tap the untapped /under-tapped potential of Punjab in Medical Tourism Sector, the Department will issue separate Operational guidelines for this purpose.

k) Promotion of Film Tourism in Punjab.

56. According to an estimate, the Bollywood Film industry is growing at the rate of about 11% annually. The culture of Punjab has always attracted the film makers to shoot in Punjab, as it has wide diversity to offer ranging from agriculture fields, hillocks, rivers, water bodies, good infrastructure and rich craft. In fact, Punjab has inherent advantages relating to its scenic locations, incredible cultural diversity, rich history and lilting music. Moreover, the Bollywood and Pollywood films also showcase Punjab which helps in promotion of other forms of tourism in the State. The Government of India has already introduced reforms to make film making and shooting easier for the international and domestic film makers. As such, the time is ripe for the State of Punjab to develop a strategic policy framework with a mission to attract national and international production houses, support local production crews and develop necessary mechanism conforming to the ease of doing business like single window clearance system etc. Separate detailed guidelines shall be formulated by the Department in this regard.

l) Heritage Properties as Heritage Hotels

57. Punjab has a wide range of properties having Heritage value and which can be put to adaptive re-use and which have the potential to be converted into Heritage Hotels for international and domestic tourists.

58. Heritage hotels hold a great appeal for both domestic and international tourists. While

States like Rajasthan, Goa, Himachal, Madhya Pradesh and some of the North-Eastern states have taken timely action to convert such properties into hotels, Punjab has yet to take a step forward in this direction.


59. The Government of Punjab will separately formulate a detailed strategy and operational guide lines for the transformation of selected havelis/ properties into heritage hotels suitable for occupation by both domestic and international tourists. The Government shall provide Incentives for such ventures in accordance with Industrial and Business Development Policy, 2017.

m) Human Resource and Skills Development

60. All human resource development initiative would be undertaken after an objective and realistic “needs analysis” keeping in view the specific nature of a local l tourism resource. Such an initiative should result in a human resource development plan which should be implemented

in accordance with a pre-agreed work plan. It should also provide for an effective review and monitoring mechanism to measure the efficacy of a specific programme/ project.

61. In general, skill development and capacity building programmes would focus on basic hospitality, housekeeping, food production, hygiene, language skills and, tour guiding (as appropriate to the tourism resource/s of the area). Tourism education programmes would be concentrated on general tourism management, marketing and promotion, sustainable development and other subjects of contemporary interest and concern to the industry in the State.

62. The State would also make arrangements to conduct refresher programmes for those

who have experience but no formal training, short-term courses for the new entrants to the industry, on-the-job practice sessions for the beginners, and repeat programmes for those who want to further refine their knowledge and skills.

63. Wherever possible, state-run training institutions should be taken on board to draw up the curricula of the training programmes as well as to implement them.

Efforts will also be made to enlarge the tourism focus beyond 5-star properties by fully recognizing Punjab tourism's plus points such as the Golden Temple, Harike, Attari and special interest activities like water sports.

n) Investments and Incentives

64. With a view to promoting investments in tourism-related projects in the State, the Government would prepare an investment portfolio for the information and motivation of potential investors. The investment portfolio would include projects pertaining to accommodation, transport, organization of conducted tours, conferences and conventions, and related fields.

65. The State would continue to provide fiscal and monetary incentives to the investors such as treating tourism at par with other industries (tourism as an industry), tax holidays, power and water subsidy, exemption from house tax and transfer fee (except registration charges), and entertainment tax, particularly for amusement parks and leisure facilities.


66. The State would organize investment forums in Punjab and major cities of India in collaboration with PIDB to attract direct investments in tourism projects.

o) Marketing and Promotion

67. The State will initiate marketing and promotion activities only after a well-structured marketing action plan is formulated jointly by the public and private sector. Any ad hoc approach would be avoided. All marketing action would be focused on well-researched and pre-identified target markets and segments.

68. Optimum use would be made of electronic techniques as well as the social media. This implies that marketing operations would be managed by a team of well-qualified and experienced professionals. For this purpose, the Marketing Department of the PHTPB would be further strengthened.

69. Participation in trade fairs and exhibitions would be on a selective basis. Initially, Punjab Tourism and partners would participate in major domestic trade events in collaboration with organisations like ADTOI etc. Some of the possible events are: TTF (Delhi, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Mumbai and Pune), IITM (Bangalore, Chennai and Hyderabad), and GTM. Only after the first phase of the product development is completed in all respects that initiatives should be taken to participate in international events such as ITB, Berlin and WTM, London, although officials of Punjab Tourism would visit these fairs to raise awareness about Punjab as a tourist destination.

70. Familiarization Tours (FAMTOURS) for domestic and international tour operators and the media (electronic and print) would be organized on a regular basis in association with ADTIO and IATO, and in accordance with the guidelines formulated by UNWTO. An annual plan media plan would be prepared for print production and media advertising, including the vernacular press, suitably backed up by a review and monitoring mechanism to assess the cost-effectiveness and efficacy of marketing actions.

71. Expansion of the Punjab tourism product portfolio and anticipated short-term arrivals/demand from domestic and international FITs and GIT in 2019-2020 needs strategized marketing, product development, shift from B2B to both B2B and B2C, partnerships, capacity building, PPP monitoring and evaluation.

p) Circuit Touring

72. In order to offer Punjab's best and diversified tourism products to tourists, the supply

chain of Punjab Tourism would be presented to domestic and international markets wrapped in attractive and appealing packages. The underlying idea is that tourists should not be confined to a single tourist centre but undertake multiple destination touring. Thus, the most appropriate approach is to adopt a "hub and spoke" strategy wherein one central destination acts as the hub for the circuit while secondary and tertiary destinations constitute points of excursion. Such an approach would result in the extension of the duration of stay of tourists with resultant economic benefits for the sector as a whole.


73. In addition, the circuit touring concept would be promoted through thematic circuits which would attract the segment of the market which is interested in a specific destination or theme. Some of the thematic circuits which would be promoted include: the Heritage Circuit, the Mughal Circuit; the Maharajah Circuit; the Sufi Circuit; Amritsar Circuit; the Patiala Trail, the Ludhiana Circuit; the Chandigarh Circuit; the Nature Circuit; the Ferozepur Circuit (comprising the Indo-Pak frontier trail), Taste Punjab, the Punjab Retreat, Fashionable Punjab, Punjab in Style, Festive Punjab, and Punjab Agritours. These circuits and trails would undergo detailing by working out particular itineraries coupled with accommodation, transport and sightseeing arrangements.

74. The guidelines for the operational aspect would be framed and issued separately.



bottom of page