India

Agri-tourism picks up in Punjab as Covid cases show a sharp decline

Naveen Bharat Editorial

CHANDIGARH: Agri-tourism has gained momentum in Punjab as tourists are opting to stay at farmhouses to experience the authentic culture, colors and tastes of the state. As per information available with the Punjab Tourism Department, 5,000 domestic and 400 international tourists have been staying at various farmhouses since April this year. The total number of tourists for the same period in 2020-21 was 5,500.

However, the figures are nowhere in contrast to the pre-Covid months of 2019-20, when the total tourist arrivals stood at 13,600 (12,000 domestic and 1,600 foreign). There is no dearth of such getaways in the state – 43 of them are registered with the state tourism and culture department.

These range from places known for beekeeping to the cultivation of citrus fruits. Dairy farms add to the enigmatic surroundings where farmers driving tractors bring home-cooked food. Tourists are also introduced to the local community way of life at events such as weddings and local fairs.

Special Chief Secretary (Tourism and Culture) Sanjay Kumar says that since the tourism sector, especially the hotel industry has suffered the most, the department has started a drive to invite tourists to come to the state by road. has done. “Agriculture tourism thus grew much more than the normal tourist circuits,” he said. “This has prompted us to do online registration of farmhouses,” he said.

Vikram Singh Sodhi, owner of a farmhouse near Anandpur Sahib, says that more tourists are coming to Punjab due to the fall in the cases of Kovid. “To meet the increasing arrivals over the weekend, we have added 20 cottages to the list of farmhouses,” he said.

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