In new policy, Jharkhand to tap private investment for boosting tourism
Jharkhand has drafted a new tourism policy focusing more on private investment, employment, tourism promotion and education.
In a bid to attract investment to develop tourism, the policy has proposed a 30% subsidy on total capital investment for developing any tourism facilities in Jharkhand, officials said on Friday. Besides, the policy also aims to generate employment for around one lakh people in the sector through short-term and long-term planning.
The draft policy was submitted to chief minister Hemant Soren on Thursday evening and it got approval in-principle. After inclusion of CM’s suggestions in the draft policy, it will be forwarded to the state cabinet for final approval, said tourism director A Dodde.
Jharkhand had announced its first ever tourism policy in 2015. However, it failed to attract investments. The Soren government which came to power last year, decided to revise the policy and make it more attractive.
Dodde said, “We have offered 30% flat subsidy or Rs 10 crore, which is lower, on capital investment for developing tourism facilities such as hotels, parks, resorts or others in the state. The subsidy will be 35% for developing the same in tribal districts.”
He said 2015 policy failed to fetch desired results, as it hardly drew investments. “So, we made it more attractive for private investors,” he said.
The federation of Jharkhand chamber of commerce and industries (FJCCI) has welcomed the subsidy initiative of the government. “Investors basically want safety, security and incentive. I believe the subsidy initiative will attract the private investors in the tourism sector,” said Shailesh Agarwal, sub-committee (tourism) chairman of FJCCI.
The tourism director said the policy was drafted after studying the tourism policies of various states including Gujarat, Rajasthan and Kerala. “This would be one of the best policies of the country,” he said.
Even though tourists’ inflow has increased manifolds since the state’s inception in November 2000, safety and security of tourists have been a major issue in the state due to left wing extremism in some ports of the state.
In 2000, when Jharkhand came into being, just 4.53 lakh tourists, including 3,111 foreigners, visited the state. But the number rose to 3.55 crore in 2018-19 including 1.76 lakh foreign tourists.
Chief minister Soren asked the officials to develop a tourist tracking system and documentation of places of tourists’ interest. “The system will help monitor tourists’ safety and security and it will also guide them where to visit during their journey,” Dodde said.
Geo-tagging and demarcation of tourism destinations are also being done. The demarcation of tourist places would help the people who want to conduct film shoots or events. The department is also working on a single window system for tourism so that people could get all the information or formalities from one spot, officials said.
Dodde said the hospitality and tourism sectors have immense potential to generate employment. “We are targeting to create 75,000 to one lakh employments in the sectors in coming years,” he said.
On the lines of the Institute of Hotel Management (IHM), a Food Craft Institute at Deoghar has also been proposed in the draft policy, which will offer certificate, diploma and degree courses.
The draft policy also mentions various tourism circuits such as religious, eco, cultural, rural, adventure, film and mining.
Pradip Dasgupta, a tourist from West Bengal who visited Hundru falls in Ranchi on Friday, said, “Security, proper information and well managed tourist places are the basic things that attract tourists. In Jharkhand, there are very few places which provide all these. I think tourism department should work on this line.”
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