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PoliticsIndiaWest Bengal tourism wins little-known PATWA award that section of media calls...

West Bengal tourism wins little-known PATWA award that section of media calls ‘prestigious’

West Bengal has bagged the International Tourism award for being the "best destination for culture", Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said during a programme in Kolkata on 5 September. “Bengal has made its mark on the global cultural map," said Banerjee. The Pacific Area Travel Writers Association (PATWA) has been described as "an affiliate of the UN World Tourism Organisation" by a section of the media that said the association would confer the with the "prestigious" International Travel Award 2023 for "Best Destination for Culture". The award will be presented in Berlin at the World Tourism and Aviation Leaders’ Summit on 9 March 2023.

Banerjee will attend the award ceremony in Berlin next year. She had earlier gone to the UN to receive appreciation for the ‘Kanyashree’ welfare scheme.

Curiously, India is not typically understood to be a part of the Pacific area. Curiouser still, all the phone numbers of PATWA are from Delhi. Every year it gives 100 awards in a rented venue in a trade fairground in Berlin. It is not part of any UN organisation. 

A certain Sagar Ahluwalia, who claims to be a prominent -based journalist with a degree in political science from Hindu College of Delhi University, organises these PATWA awards.

The facts above notwithstanding, West Bengal Minister praised Banerjee for the award and said the government would move towards making West Bengal a “tourist haven". “Bengal is the land where culture, heritage, music, literature and history meet. It is a place where the Himalayas meet the sea and the Sundarbans meet the Tea Gardens. It’s the land where the rich work of Nobel Laureate Tagore meets the amazing talent of Oscar Winner Satyajit Ray. It’s where religious places meet the various forms of architectural delights we have here… Absolutely elated though not surprised with West Bengal winning this international recognition. Under the leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, we are committed to live up to it and work hard to make it a tourist haven in the days to come," said Supriyo.

Sources in the Trinamool Congress say after the Unesco heritage status to West Bengal’s Durga Puja and the recent PATWA award have given more boost to the government and recognition at a global platform.

The West Bengal chief minister had organised a rally in Kolkata last week to thank Unesco for conferring the cultural heritage tag on its biggest annual festival. Mamata Banerjee also felicitated the representatives of Unesco.

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