Tourist sites get international recognition

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh has made its mark in the country by acquiring 16 awards at the national level in the last one year in the field of tourism. During this time the state government gave priority to innovations to promote tourism. Initiatives were taken to provide tourism facilities in the forest areas in a simple and easy manner. Priority was given to conservation and promotion of tourist destinations. The focus was on speedy completion of infrastructure development works. Investors were encouraged to invest in the state through road shows organized in cities and metros of the state and abroad. This created new employment opportunities in the tourism sector and increased revenue. Comprehensive, simple and transparent tourism policies have been formulated for investors in the last one year. Decision was taken to start helicopter facility from Indore, Bhopal, Gwalior and Jabalpur metropolitan cities for tourist destinations of the state soon.
Attractive grants and concessions were given for hot air balloon, wild life resort, mega and ultra projects in the state government’s innovative tourism policy-2019. Provision was made to give 5 percent additional cost capital grant to scheduled caste and tribal entrepreneurs and for tourism projects to be set up in remote and inaccessible areas. It was decided to establish three new Food Craft Institutes in the state. Decision was taken to promote rural tourism in selected villages near tourist sites to give the tourists a feel of rural life.
A grand celebration was organized from December 28 to January 1 in the renowned tourist site Mandu of the country. Royal Cuisine Food Festival was celebrated in Minto Hall and Jal Mahotsav in Hanuwantiya. Dishes of the Royal families of various regions were made by their cooks at the food festival. It was decided to celebrate “The Great International Yearly Musical Festival-Hriday Dishyam” in Bhopal on 11-12 January, 2020 and “Namaste Orchha” in Orchha from 6 March to 8 March in collaboration with the Tourism Board and the Department of Culture.
Decision was taken to impart training to the youth in the field of tourism through prestigious groups. A Branded Hotel Incentive Policy, Farm Stay, Gram Stay Yojana (Registration and Regulation) Yojana- 2019 was drafted. A Film Tourism Policy will also be drafted soon. Currently, about 6-7 film web series have been completed in tourist spots of the state and shooting of many is in progress. This year, BBA course in Travels and Tourism Studies was started at the Madhya Pradesh Institute of Hospitality. 15 acknowledgment letters and licenses were issued for conducting water sports activities in the notified water areas for water tourism. This year, 24,000 students from maximum 8000 schools of the state participated in the tourism quiz. Walk-Festival-2019 were organized for introducing/promoting enriched heritage, natural beauty, history, traditions, ancient heritage in 11 prominent districts/tourist sites of the state.
In the last one year, travel agent and tour operator training programme “M.P. Expert” was organized in 12 major cities of the state and road shows were organized at national level and in various states. In addition, a capital grant of Rs 17 crore 69 lakh was given for the establishment of 14 tourism projects. This resulted in a capital investment of Rs 136 crores in a year, which led to the construction of 543 rooms in hotels. This work provided employment to about 2050 people. The regional units Orchha, Khajuraho and Bhopal were developed as destination wedding facility. 10 new rooms were built at Kutni Dame near Khajuraho, 8 rooms at Manikheda Dame and 6 rooms at Kila Kothi Chanderi. Development works were develop near Buddhist site Deurkothar Bharhut and Sanchi.
In order to give international recognition to tourism in the state, it was decided that government land will be allotted on a 90-year lease, on a “first come first serve” basis on collector guide line rate for the establishment of tourism projects worth more than Rs 100 crore investment. For more than 50 lakh capital expenditure on hot air ballooning, cost capital subsidy at the rate of 50 percent will be given in installments for 5 years. According to the Wildlife Area Classification, a grant of up to Rs 3 crore will be given to the Wildlife Resort at the rate of 20 percent. Large, mega and ultra mega projects will be given cost capital grant installments at the rate of 30 percent for 4 years. This grant limit will range from a maximum of Rs 15 crores to Rs 90 crores. An additional 5 percent capital grant will be given for tourism projects to be set up in remote and inaccessible areas. Hotels and resorts will be given 25 percent grant for investment of more than Rs 10 lakh capital for setting up pollution treatment plant.
Tourism units will be reimbursed Rs 50 thousand to Rs one lakh per programme on participation in national and international marketing events. Cent percent reimbursement of stamp duty and registration fee will be made on the lease, registration etc. of the allotted government lands / assets. Tourism units will be provided a maximum of Rs 50 thousand for nation-level marketing events at venue / stall establishment and a maximum of Rs one lakh assistance will be given for international level marketing events.
A new policy of Wayside Amenity centre was formulated and the Branded Hotel Promotion Policy was revised. Guide line and procedure was issued for certification of heritage assets. Bed and Breakfast Sthapna (Registration and Regulation) Scheme, Gram Stay Sthapna (Registration and Regulation) Scheme and Farm Stay Sthapna Scheme were formulated. Further action is in progress by drafting the Film Tourism Policy-2019. A policy of partnership with General Sales Agent (GSA) and Event Company was formulated to increase tourism business.
In order to encourage private investors, in the prevailing water tourism policy, the water areas of Machagaura Dam, Chhindwara district, Saapna Dam, Betul district, Kolar Reservoir, Bhopal district and Govindgarh Reservoir Rewa district were notified for tourism development.