Durga Puja, the five-day Hindu festival celebrated in West Bengal, is one of the state’s most important religious and cultural events. It is also a significant economic driver, generating billions of rupees in revenue each year.
In 2019, a British Council study estimated that Durga Puja contributed ₹32,377 crore to the West Bengal economy, accounting for 2.58% of the state’s GDP. The festival creates jobs and opportunities across a wide range of industries, including tourism, hospitality, retail, transportation, and the creative arts.
With a staggering increase in businesses over the previous years, the Durga Puja economy in Bengal has reached an impressive ₹70,000 crore in 2023, as per a report in The Statesman. This surge in commerce will benefit both the local economy and the people of Bengal by creating job opportunities and fostering economic development.
Durga Puja attracts millions of visitors from all over India and the world, generating significant revenue for the tourism industry. Hotels, restaurants, tour operators, and other tourism-related businesses all experience a boost in activity during the festival period.
During Durga Puja, hotels and guesthouses in West Bengal are typically booked to capacity. The festival also sees a surge in demand for catering services and other hospitality-related businesses.
Durga Puja is a major shopping season in West Bengal. People buy new clothes, jewelry, and other items to wear and give as gifts during the festival. This provides a boost to the retail sector, both online and offline.
Durga Puja is a time for family and friends to come together. As a result, there is a significant increase in demand for transportation services, such as trains, buses, and taxis. This benefits the transportation sector and its employees.
Durga Puja is a showcase for Bengali culture and creativity. Artists, artisans, and designers are involved in all aspects of the festival, from creating the elaborate pandals (temporary temples) to designing and making the idols of Durga and her four children. Durga Puja also provides a platform for performing artists, such as musicians, dancers, and actors.
UNESCO heritage status
In December 2021, Durga Puja in Kolkata was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This recognition is a testament to the festival’s importance as a cultural and economic asset for West Bengal and India as a whole.
The UNESCO heritage status of Durga Puja is likely to further boost the festival’s economic impact. It is expected to attract more tourists from all over the world and generate more revenue for the state. The UNESCO recognition will also help to raise awareness of Durga Puja and its significance, potentially leading to new economic opportunities.
Overall, Durga Puja is a major economic driver for West Bengal. The festival creates jobs and opportunities in a wide range of industries and generates billions of rupees in revenue each year. The UNESCO heritage status of Durga Puja is expected to further boost the festival’s economic impact in the years to come. At the heart of this success story is the unwavering dedication of Hon’ble Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Her undying efforts have propelled Durga Puja to global recognition and made it a catalyst for businesses to thrive.