Gujarat Fests Cost 46 Crore, Ranotsav Booms

Gujarat Government Spends Rs 46 Crore on Festivals, Sees Surge in Ranotsav Tourists

Gandhinagar, Feb 17: The Gujarat government has spent Rs 46 crore in the past two years on organizing three major festivals – Navratri, Patangotsav (Kite Festival), and Ranotsav. This information was revealed in the Legislative Assembly in response to a query by Congress MLA Jignesh Mevani.

The breakdown of the spending shows Rs 7.59 crore and Rs 8.76 crore spent on Navratri in 2022 and 2023, respectively. For the Kite Festival, the expenditure was Rs 12.54 lakh in 2022 and Rs 7.16 crore in 2023. Ranotsav, held in the Kutch desert, saw the highest spending at Rs 12.23 crore in 2022 and Rs 10.16 crore in 2023.

Interestingly, Ranotsav also experienced a significant increase in tourist footfall. According to the Tourism Department, the festival attracted 9,36,391 tourists in the past two years, with a remarkable jump from 2,07,777 in 2022 to 7,28,614 in 2023. This represents a nearly fourfold increase in tourist participation.

Foreign tourist arrivals also doubled, rising from 4,253 in 2022 to 8,322 in 2023. This growth resulted in revenue of Rs 1.72 crore and Rs 3.25 crore from entry fees in 2022 and 2023, respectively. Additionally, craft and food stalls at Ranotsav generated substantial revenue.

The response also addressed questions regarding the tent providers for the desert festival. May. Lalluji & Sons and May. PRAVEG COMMUNICATION INDIA LTD. erected tents in 2022, with payments of Rs 3.81 crore and Rs 74.18 lakh, respectively. However, the Tourism Department mentioned that payment for the 2023 Ranotsav is pending.

Finally, the response clarified that 91 employees were recruited through outsourcing or contracts in the past two years.

This information raises several points for discussion:

  • Justification of expenditure: Whether the spending on festivals aligns with the state’s development priorities and generates sufficient economic benefits to justify the costs.
  • Distribution of benefits: How the increase in tourism translates into tangible benefits for local communities and businesses in the Kutch region.
  • Sustainability of tourism: Measures taken to ensure sustainable tourism practices to protect the sensitive desert ecosystem.

Source.

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