Madhya Pradesh: Centre announces sops to boost tourism industry

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Indore
  • Updated: Aug 21, 2015 19:16 IST
Artistes perform Odishi dance at the 31st IATO convention in Indore on Thursday. (Shankar Mourya/HT photo)

Union minister of civil aviation, culture and tourism Mahesh Sharma in Indore on Thursday announced revision in tax structure to benefit tourism industry and usher revolution in the sector.

Speaking at 31st convention of Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO), the minister said, “India is yet to realise its full tourism potential. We will discuss the details with the finance ministry to bring in amendments in taxation on tour operators to give boost to tourism industry.”

The minister also announced extension of e-visa facility to 36 more nations thereby pushing the total to 113 countries from the existing 77. This, he said, would facilitate speedier clearances for tourists.

The convention was also attended by chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, state tourism minister Surendra Patwa, and several others.

Madhya Pradesh has designated 2015-16 as year of tourism. Speaking at the occasion, the chief minister said, “The landscape and weather of Madhya Pradesh is such that it can offer tourism all-round the year, unlike other states of India.”

“I am inviting everyone across the globe to visit Madhya Pradesh during Simhastha-2016 to witness the vibrancy of the festival and of the state,” he said.

Chouhan also announced for organising a brainstorming mahakumbh of intellects during Simhastha fair.

He said, the state has witnessed inflow of six crore tourists in last five years. He lauded Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said, “He is a brand ambassador for promoting tourism in the country.”

Ashwani Lohani, the managing director of Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation (MPSTDC) and newly appointed chairman cum managing director (CMD) of Air India said, “The state has so much to offer for tourism, that we are facing a ‘problem of plenty’ in exploring the length and breadth of the state. So, we invite everyone to explore the unexplored destinations of the state.”

IATO president Subhash Goyal assured to change the face of tourism industry in coming years.

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