Rann Utsav organizers expecting boom after DGP conference at Dhordo

BHUJ, Gujarat: The DGP conference attended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi here has kindled hopes of increased tourist footfall at the annual ‘Rann Utsav’ at Dhordo, with organizers hoping that the white desert would attract more corporate and wedding events now.

The Rann Utsav, this time, will be officially inaugurated by chief minister Anandiben Patel at Dhordo tent city on December 24 and will be open for tourists till February 29, said an official of State Information Department.

As the event is taking place immediately after the DGP conference, which concluded yesterday, it will leave a significant impact on the tourist turnout this time as the place has got lot of publicity due to the presence of Modi, said Niral Patel of Lallooji and Sons, a company which had been given the contract to operate the tent city by the state government few years back.
“There is definitely more interest among people to see this place … they are curious to know how it feels to stay at a place where Modiji stayed for three days. People who follow Modi, will definitely want to come here, for the mere fact that the Prime Minister stayed here,” said Patel.

The concept of Rann Utsav was floated in 2006 by Modi when he was Gujarat chief minister. Later, a successful marketing campaign featuring Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan made the white desert a sought-after destination among people from all over India as well as NRIs and foreign tourists, said Patel.

“Now, people have realized that this city, having 350 tents, can also be used as a venue to host conferences and weddings. We have already received some inquiries for the same. If everything gets finalised, then tent city will host such events this season,” added Patel.

According to officials of state Tourism Department here, bookings are already full till the end of December.

“Official inauguration is on December 24 by the CM. Till now, we have received overwhelming response, as all tents are booked for this month. Rental of each tent varies from Rs 12,000 to Rs 16,250 for the two nights-three day stay. There are many others who just visit the place by spending Rs 100 for the permit,” said Tourist Officer at Bhuj BH Vanvi.