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?Govt, pvt partnership need of hour?

THERE IS strong and urgent need to improve regional connectivity, increase private-government partnership, reduce luxury tax, sales tax and excise duty in Madhya Pradesh to make the State more attractive for hotel industry entrepreneurs and, in turn, improve prospects of tourism in the State.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2006 12:08 IST

THERE IS strong and urgent need to improve regional connectivity, increase private-government partnership, reduce luxury tax, sales tax and excise duty in Madhya Pradesh to make the State more attractive for hotel industry entrepreneurs and, in turn, improve prospects of tourism in the State.

These were the main issues highlighted by most speakers at the Hotel and Restaurant Association’s (Western India) 13th regional convention, ‘Tourism: Together We Succeed’, that got underway at Hotel Jehanuma Palace here today.

Addressing the convention, Governor Dr Balram Jakhar stressed the need for a well-contemplated policy, clear vision and firm determination along with better infrastructure to put Madhya Pradesh on international tourism map more prominently. He said Madhya Pradesh has a glorious past and its cultural and archaeological heritage should be highlighted at international-level to attract tourists from other countries. This would also help improve our economy, he added.

Dr Jakhar said a time-bound programme, good governance and hard work would help fully realise the State’s tourism potential.

Besides improving the infrastructure, he said, there is need for a positive change in the attitude and behaviour with tourists. He said that government-private partnership is need of the hour for tourism development.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said the State Government is paying due attention to connectivity, which is key to tourism development. Road communication is being improved and 248 tourist places are being inter-connected by road, he added.

Chouhan said that efforts are afoot to provide air link from major cities for the principal tourist places. He assured a re-think on tourism-related different taxes. The Chief Minister assured of all possible steps to meet the basic requirements of tourism sector.

State Tourism Minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia said that people from all over the world are eager to visit the tourist places in Madhya Pradesh. The need is to evolve a suitable mechanism to disseminate information about tourist places in a more interesting manner.

This would create a curiosity in people and they would be inspired to visit here. She stressed that that government and organisations like Hotel and Restaurant Association engaged in tourism sector should join hands to promote tourism.

Finance Minister Raghavji said that Madhya Pradesh is richly endowed with unmatched natural beauty and cultural heritage. The State has immense possibilities of tourism development. Realisation of this potential would bring prosperity to Madhya Pradesh, he added.

Air Deccan Chief Executive Officer Captain Gopinath also spoke. Earlier, Governor Dr Balram Jakhar, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Minister for Tourism Yashodhara Raje Scindia lighted the ceremonial lamp to inaugurate the convention.

Association president Sunder Avatramani and secretary Sunit Kothari welcomed the guests and threw light on the objectives of the convention. HRA Hon. Secretary Kamal Barot proposed the vote of thanks.

Later in the day, two business sessions were organised. The first session was on regional connectivity. Speakers presented an overview on infrastructure needs for emerging regional destinations.

The main speakers in the session were Jet Airways VP (Sales) Sonu Kriplani, Go Air VP Srinivasan Raju and Spice Jet Limited Director Ajay Singh.

The second business session focused on regional promotion in which the speakers presented an insight into the industry’s initiatives in promoting regional destinations.

Main speakers were Taj Palace Hotel New Delhi Director (Operations) Mridula T, Choice Hospitality CEO Vilas Pawar, celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor and Fortune Park Hotel Sales and Marketing Head Abinash Manghani.

Two business sessions would be held on February 18. One would be on the State’s viewpoint while the second would be on changing consumer’s preference.

First Published: Feb 18, 2006 12:08 IST