Digha in East Medinipur district is the only major tourist resort of West Bengal. It receives about 43% of the tourist flow of West Bengal. About a lakh of foreign and about 25 lakh domestic tourists visit this coastal resort. Amongst the tourists, a large number are day trippers belonging mostly to middle and low income groups. For these day trippers there is only one facility at Digha (Khanika). Infrastructural facilities and civic amenities are limited in Digha, New Digha and Sankarpur. Although there are a large number of budget hotels, star accommodation are available one each in Digha, New Digha and Sankarpur. Old Digha has become congested. The area does not have proper facilities for treatment of solid and liquid waste. Coastal erosion and construction of structures to prevent coastal erosion has robbed the Digha coast of its accessibility and natural beauty. Beach has also become dangerous in some stretches especially in high tides during late monsoon when surging water suddenly cut off all escape routes for people who had inadvertently strayed into beach. In spite of all these draw backs, Old Digha, New Digha and Sankarpur have tremendous potential to attract a large number of tourists if an integrated (development) management plan is drawn up and implemented.
Sagar Island is a tourist destination especially around the Sagar mela time when around five lakh pilgrims visit the island. If the main bottleneck of problems of communication involving crossing of river by ferry and lack of grid electricity are solved, it can grow into a viable coastal tourist resort.
In Sundarban area, a small coastal resort Bakkhali (Fraseganj) attracts some tourist inflow. Better communication facilities and grid electricity are required to make this beach resort an attractive tourist destination for pristine, unspoilt and quiet beach resort to unwind.
Tourists are allowed in the buffer area of Sundarban. A tourist lodge at Sajnakhali has accommodation facilities for the tourists. Zilla Parishad, 24 North Parganas has also created accommodation facility at Hemnagar, close to the northern boundary of the Sundarban Tiger Reserve. There is tremendous potential for development of eco tourism resources of the Sundarban. Ecotourism is now on a very low key with inadequate facilities. A well thought out eco tourism plan for Sundarban is the need of the hour. Development of infrastructural facilities in tune with the extant landscape and ambience for the promotion of ecotourism in Sundarban will be a challenge.
The main attractions of the Sundarban are for wildlife enthusiasts, the opportunity to sail in the solitude of wilderness through its hundreds of channels, to learn more about the tiger behaviour and the possibility to view this majestic creature on a sand bank or crossing a river or devouring its prey, to see an old Hindu temple in the middle of nowhere, to view estuarine and marsh crocodiles under the stars, and to learn more about the mangrove forest and its importance.