PUNJAB’S wealthy city of Amritsar is preparing for an influx in inbound visitors, having scored its first foreign airline, which will be commencing flights from London on October 13.
Heathrow-based airline BMI (British Midland International) has picked the city as its first Indian destination, a significant coup for Amritsar, which is connected to international destinations like the UK, US and Canada, but only via Indian carriers. A Star Alliance member, BMI’s thrice-weekly flights will offer possibilities for codesharing to other Western markets.
There is also talk that Kingfisher Airlines is scheduled to start direct flights to Bangkok, while Air India is looking at flights to Vienna.
Agents are already putting together packages that combine Amritsar with Dalhousie, Chamba, Chandigarh and Dharamshala, which will also incorporate Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.
Hotels by Sheraton, Taj, Holiday Inn, Radisson Blu, Park Plaza and Ramada are also set to open their doors by 2013.
In addition, the Punjab state government is developing tourism projects aided by US$570 million from the Asian Development Bank, as well as receiving training and technical help from the United Nations World Tourism Organization. New products include farm stays, luxury train journeys and wetland ecotourism.
- Read more in TTG-PTM Official Daily - Day 2 issue