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?Development needed to realise full potential?

MADHYA PRADESH has the potential and opportunities to emerge as a major tourist hub of the country. With proper infrastructure development and more imaginative efforts it would not take long to realise its full potential.

india Updated: Jan 29, 2006 01:32 IST

MADHYA PRADESH has the potential and opportunities to emerge as a major tourist hub of the country. With proper infrastructure development and more imaginative efforts it would not take long to realise its full potential.

This was the conclusion of views expressed by tour operators and tourism experts at the Travel and Tour Mart `Destination Madhya Pradesh’ organised by the MP State Tourism Development Corporation (MPSTDC) to apprise them of tourism potential in Madhya Pradesh here today.

Tourism Minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia was chief guest on the occasion. Minister for Industries and Commercial Taxes Babulal Gaur also attended the session briefly and addressed the delegates.

Yashodhara Raje Scindia said suggestions of experts would be acted upon to boost tourism in the State. She said under the leadership and guidance of the youthful Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tourism development would be put on the fast track.

She dwelt on the prospects of religious, wildlife, medical and adventure tourism in Madhya Pradesh and said well contemplated efforts would be made to fully realise possibilities.

Babulal Gaur said Madhya Pradesh was richly endowed with natural wealth and beauty and had a glorious past. There were immense possibilities of tourism development in different fields. He spoke about

facilities being offered to investors in Madhya Pradesh and invited them to make investment in tourism sector here. Renowned travel writer Hugh Gantzer, while speaking on the topic `Why Madhya Pradesh’, said the State was a unique land. He added that Kerala was called the ‘Country of Gods’, but Madhya Pradesh also has all the makings to be a ‘Land of Gods’.
Gantzer said some tourist destinations in Madhya Pradesh like Bhimbetika, Chitrakoot, Gwalior, Khajuraho, Orchha, Mandu, Ujjain etc were unmatched and tourists from all over the world could be attracted to them.

Union Tourism Secretary AK Mishra said every year, one tourist circuit should be identified for integrated development and a development authority should be assigned with this task. He stressed the need for proper hygiene, cleanliness, planned development and better facilities in and around tourist places to attract foreign tourists. He also emphasised the need for a separate master plan for each tourist destination.

MP State Tourism Development Corporation Managing Director Alka Upadhayaya made a presentation on prospects of tourism development and the USP of Madhya Pradesh.

MP State Industrial Development Corporation Raghav Chandra Managing Director made a presentation on investment opportunities in the State.

World Tourism Organisation (WTO) representative Bezbaruah said the tourism industry had immense potential of employment creation. In this context, he referred to the contribution of tourism to the economy of Kerala and Rajasthan. He also called for greater private participation in tourism sector.

The Indian Association of Tour Operators’ president Subhash Goyal said Madhya Pradesh had wonderful monuments and there was a need to put tourism development on fast track. He lauded the initiative of Yashodhara Raje Scindia in this direction and said it would benefit tourism in Madhya Pradesh.

He suggested the BoT mode might be adopted for hotel operation just like roads in Madhya Pradesh to boost tourism industry. He said two-three destinations should be identified for special promotion in the State. He assured full cooperation of the Indian Association of Tour Operators for tourism in Madhya Pradesh.

The CGH Group of Hotels president Jose Dominic dwelt on unprecedented tourism development in Kerala and said Madhya Pradesh should also rope in community participation to promote tourism. Union Tourism Ministry Additional Director Rajiv Talwar stressed the need for allowing private sector to flourish in tourism industry and to adopt a tourist savvy approach.

First Published: Jan 29, 2006 01:32 IST