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HindustanTimes Sat,20 Dec 2014

Exclusive gift shops promote indigenous art, culture at city hotels

Rameshinder Singh Sandhu, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, December 25, 2013
First Published: 21:13 IST(25/12/2013) | Last Updated: 21:14 IST(25/12/2013)

Even as the Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board (PHTPB) has not been doing its bit for encouraging tourism in Amritsar, some city-based hotels have come forth to promote the local heritage, art and craft through exclusive gift shops they are running.

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The city has a range of hotels- luxury, small guest houses and inns, and some of them have done a great job by presenting the indigenous art and cultural artifacts.

The gift shops at Radisson BLU and Hyatt, located right in the hotel lobbies, have put on display phulkaris, Punjabi juttis, indigenous carpets, shawls, books on India, local souvenirs, artifacts from across the country, postcards, traditional jewelry boxes and bags etc.

Almost all the items are popular among the tourists who spent time in these shops. The phulkaris, Punjabi juttis and shawls, however, are a big hit among both the locals and visitors. Wooden jewellery boxes and small diaries from Jaipur and postcards from all over the country have caught the fancy of many.

"It is a very good initiative to bring in the indigenous culture and art before the tourists from all over the world. We should feel proud in promoting our own products," says Brij Bedi, a social activist.

Amanpreet Singh, a university student, said, "We should take pride in promoting our culture." He shared his recent tour to Switzerland where the Swiss love to promote their country with great zeal.

"I stayed at different Swiss hotels during my tour. I noticed that the hotel lobbies and rooms were flooded with pictures of Swiss culture, cities, lakes and mountain peaks. They run heritage gift shops as well," he said.

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