Sunday, January 15, 2012

Kutch Rann Utsav

Kutch Rann Utsav is most successful tourism product of Gujarat
By Japan K Pathak
Ahmedabad, 23 December, 2010





My source in Gujarat’s Tourism department is very happy. These days he happily and energetically narrates that in his two and half decades long service period in state’s tourism department, he has not seen such golden days. He says the Kutch Rann Utsav is super duper hit this year, and after long time Gujarat’s tourism seems on perfect track. “Rann Utsav is the most successful tourism product of Gujarat,” he says.

He says that the Kutch Rann Utsav is so superb a product that next year it could be a two-month long event, and private players might jump in for making good profit. He also adds that the satisfaction level of tourists is amazing this year, and positive feedback of each tourist would bring in more tourists next year. This would have trigger effect, and ultimately Rann Utsav will be a grand international travel product.

Following are some major points that I heard during my talk with my source in tourism department.

-Somebody called Tourism department through Chief Minister’s personal assistant, requesting for one tent, just one tent. The person was ready for full payment, but tourism officials had to reply politely but repeatedly that booking was full, and no more booking was available!

-Two helicopters are at service at Dhordo tent city. While one is three seater, the other one is four seater.On Monday, the chopper service started very late, but it had 65 passengers. On Wednesday, there was a blank day, but there were 85 passengers. A 15-minute round in helicopter costs Rs.3500 per person. There’s 25% discount for group booking.

-Chief Minister Narendra Modi stayed in Dhordo tent city’s Darbari tent for two nights. After his departure, now his grand full facility tent is open for public allocation. Two nights and three days package of Modi’s Darbari tent costs Rs. 15000 per head for tourists. The tent is booked for next one week.

-Till last year, Rann Utsav was just a three-day event, but this year it is a month-long event. Don’t be surprise if it continue for two month from next year onwards. Demand is such huge.

-Till last year Gujarat Tourism officials had to request journalists outside Gujarat to visit Gujarat Tourism events and give coverage. Hundreds of journalists were paid in past for their visits and Gujarat Tourism paid entire cost of their travel and stay. But this year when one media house from outside the state approached Gujarat Tourism, demanding accommodation, visit cost etc to cover Rann Utsav, the Tourism department in reply couldn’t assure anything, and demanded full payment, and the media group paid it. So they – the media people – are coming on their own by paying full cost. In fact they are thankful that they were provided tent when booking was full.

-Tents and facilities are superb this year in Rann Utsav’s Dhordo tent city. This because of the hard work and experience of previous years. Only food was not found upto the mark, and the food caterer has been changed.

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