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?State can be wildlife tourism hot spot?

india Updated: Sep 27, 2006 16:10 IST
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MADHYA PRADESH has the potential to become as popular a wildlife tourism destination as Kenya in Africa if basic infrastructure was provided and proper safeguard to flora and fauna ensured.

Welcome Heritage Group President Rakesh Mathur strongly feels that the State should be able to carve a niche for itself in the near future as a world famous tourist destination, especially in light of the current boom in tourism sector.

“Most policies concerning heritage tourism, eco-tourism and wildlife tourism are now being actually implemented in MP and that is a very positive sign,’’ Mathur told Hindustan Times here on Tuesday on the eve of `World Tourism Day’.

Attributing the improved scenario to a stable environment over the past two-and-a-half years, Mathur said several entrepreneurs, who had earlier shied away from investing in the State were now targeting the state’s tourism sector again as a viable investment option.

He, nevertheless, said there were still several issues that needed to be settled soon. “ Although most of the roads in MP have been improved, some are still in a dilapidated condition requiring immediate repairs,’’ Mathur said referring to a Welcome Heritage property – Fort Amla – near Ratlam.

“There was just a kuccha approach road to the property and that has also been washed away in these rains,’’ he lamented. The property had become practically unapproachable, he said.

Nonetheless, the Welcome Heritage Group is very keen on increasing its presence in the State. `` We already have five properties in the State, including the two in Bhopal and Jabalpur, which are amongst the largest in the state,’’ Mathur informed. The group has recently taken over Narmada Jackson hotel in Jabalpur while embarking on a five-year plan to enhance several facilities at its star property in Bhopal, the Noor-us-Sabah Palace hotel.

A team of architects and designers also accompanied Mathur. “We would add more rooms, start a new restaurant, confectionary and bakery amongst other things at the hotel,’’ Mathur said. The group has 46 properties in various parts of India and there were definite possibilities of exploring and opening up some more in the State in future, he hoped.

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