Darjeeling: Patti Hoffman, US Consul General, Kolkata made a stopover at Siliguri on the way to Sikkim. In Siliguri, the Consul General met Tourism Minister Goutam Deb and discussed different issues pertaining to tourism on Tuesday.”The Consul General wanted to know about different festivals of the state. I apprised her that Durga Puja is the most important festival. However, festivals like Gangasagar Mela and Rash Mela in Cooch Behar draw lakhs of tourists from all over the country,” stated Minister Deb. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeConsul General Hoffman wanted to know about the tourism potential of the state, the amount of investment in the tourism sector and the foreign tourist footfall in the State. “She wanted to know of the air and road connectivity along with the type of accommodations available for the tourists. I apprised her of the improvement in air and road connectivity in the State. Our Government under the able leadership of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has given a lot of impetus on road and air connectivity for the benefit of locals and tourists alike,” stated Deb. The Consul General suggested that an increase in direct flights connecting Netaji International Airport, Kolkata to important cities throughout the globe would increase foreign tourist footfall. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIn another development, the Airport Authority of India jointly with the Siliguri Jalpaiguri Development Authority (SJDA) is all set to start a Perishable Cargo unit at Bagdogra Airport. This would be the only Perishable Cargo unit in this region including the North East, Nepal and Bhutan. “No Airport in this region has the capability to handle perishable cargo. The unit will emerge as a very profitable component to Bagdogra,” stated Sourav Chakraborty, Chairman, SJDA.