Steep accommodation charges coupled with cash crunch following demonetisation could have its impact on the one-month long Jal Mahotsav (water festival) at Hanuwantiya in MP.
The government, however, has made arrangements for cashless transactions by installing point of sale terminals and coupons. But a major problem is poor mobile and internet network.
Most tourists in Hanuwantiya told HT that they had come for a day’s outing and did not plan to stay.
“I did not make any room booking online. I am staying at a hotel at nearby Mundi as accommodation here is too expensive,” Alok Atulkar, who has come along with his family from Pune, told HT.
The organisers have set up 125 Swiss tents to accommodate tourists. While the premium tents are priced ₹7,100 per person, the deluxe tents are priced at ₹6,100. The prices are exclusive of taxes.
Another visitor, Tushar Sakre, said he had expected the place to resemble mini Goa, but there are too few eateries. Some other visitors, though, were excited about water activities.
“Charges are divided into three categories based on dates and booking is good for period of December 24-31,” Prakash Kundalia, the director of AUM Event and Promotion India, the event manager, told HT.
To attract more tourists, MP Tourism is offering a Kerala-style houseboat with three cabin spaces. “As compared to the first edition, facilities are better this time,” MP Tourism director OV Chaudhary said. There were 150,000 visitors last year.
Hanuwantiya, located at about 150 km from Indore, is hosting the Jal Mahotsav from December 15 to January 15. MP Tourism and Khandwa district administration have left no stone unturned to make the event a success.
Got idea of developing island tourism in state from Singapore: CM
In Bhopal, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said he got the idea to develop island tourism in Madhya Pradesh from Singapore, where he had visited popular island resort Sentosa.
“Immediately, I thought of developing such a wonderful tourist spot in Madhya Pradesh. Hanuwantiya, an island that emerged in the backwaters of Indira Sagar dam, flashed across my mind for this,” he wrote in a latest blog post.
His comment comes as the state government gears up for a month-long Jal-Mahotsav (water festival) from December 15 at Hanuwantia in the backwaters of the dam on Narmada river.
Chouhan said on his return from the visit last year, he shared the idea with officials of the tourism department.
“They went all out and excelled themselves in efficiency to make a good job of it within a very short span of time,” he said.
“Sometimes an innovative idea strikes our mind and if executed properly goes to do wonders. Developing Hanuwantia as a water sports complex is one such idea”.
Chouhan said a 10-day Jal Mahotsav was organised there last year. “Enthused by the response of the tourists and adrenaline jockeys, we decided to extend it to one month.
Chouhan said the second edition of Jal Mahotsava was sure to evoke greater response from the tourists who will be able to enjoy different adventure activities on not only in water but also in land and sky.