The one thing that many tourists yearn to see but missing in Gujarat might be snowfall. But, in December, especially on full moon nights, when the moon light is reflected by the salt marshes of the White Rann of Kutch, a visitor might believe that it is actually snowing. To promote such salient features of various tourist spots in the State and to attract people from Tamil Nadu, officials from Gujarat Tourism presented glimpses of the ‘Rann Utsav,' a festival of the white desert, scheduled from December 9 to January 15. They announced that students, senior citizens and large groups can avail of up to 30 per cent discount on their bookings to interesting tourist spots in Kutch, Bhuj, Lothal, Dholavira and Saurashtra.
Addressing presspersons and tour operators, Sanjay Kaul, managing director, Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Limited, presented a range of options for tourists. The tent village in the Rann of Kutch designed to present the rural ethos of Kutch with food courts and crafts bazaar will provide tourists the opportunity to learn and prepare Gujarati cuisines and try traditional art forms. Other upcoming attractions, including the paragliding festival in Saputara, international kite festival and bird watcher's conference, would offer a world of tourist options. “Gujarat has heritage, culture, adventure sports, wildlife and something for everyone in the family. It is a place waiting to be discovered and the tourist won't be disappointed,” said Mr. Kaul.
Responding to concerns raised by tour operators about the unavailability of informed guides in many historic places, Mr. Kaul said that the State was in the process of assigning trained personnel to historic spots. The issue of poor infrastructure in places, including Palitana and Dwarka, was raised by many tour operators, while a few complained how facilities for smaller groups were not of good quality. “Also, with most important festivals and fairs of Gujarat starting around December, often interested tourists find that trains are already full. And connectivity between Chennai and places in Gujarat, especially with air, is limited,” said a tour operator. Citing major infrastructure projects coming up in the State, Mr. Kaul said such concerns would be addressed once the projects are completed.