A report by Deepak Kumar Rath
Madhya Pradesh Tourism Department is taking aggressive steps to showcase the tourist destinations of the state through various promotional measures. Recently, Madhya Pradesh Tourism and CII, Gurgaon organised a conference in Delhi, on ?The changing face of Madhya Pradesh Tourism?. Various critical issues that impinge upon tourism were discussed in the conference. Speaking on the occassion, Chief Minister Babulal Gaur invited the tourists to visit Madhya Pradesh. He said that the state had historical and religious tourist spots like Khajuraho temple, Asia'sbiggest Tajul Masjid, Buddhist Sanchi stupas, marble rocks, national parks such as Kanha and Bandhavgarh and wildlife sanctuaries.
Shri Gaur pointed out that the state government was doing its level best to improve the infrastructure in the state to attract more tourists. He said that heritage sites were being developed into heritage hotels with international standards; roads were being made to inter-connect the various tourist places. Stating that the state government had made a special provision of Rs 25 crore for this purpose, he invited the private parties and tour operators to come forward to bring tourists in large numbers to the state.
Speaking about the difficulties coming in the way to attract more tourists, Shri Gaur spoke about the Central Government'scritical attitude. He mentioned about Civil Aviation Ministry'sdecision to stop the Airlines flight to Khajuraho during the Khajuraho Dance Festival. He urged the Government of India to publicise Khajuraho, Sanchi, Bhimbetka at international level. He requested the tour operators to bring maximum tourists to the state.
Madhya Pradesh Tourism Minister, Jayant Mallaya, said that tourist spots were being developed as per the requirements of tourists. He informed that soon the government would be coming out with a new tourism-transport policy, which would give boost to the tourism industry in the state. In the beginning S.S.H. Rehman, chairman of CII National Committee on Tourism & Heritage, welcomed the guests and spoke about the immense tourist potential of Madhya Pradesh. Shri Amitabh Kant, Joint Secretary Tourism was also present at the conference.
The conference was attended by Shri O.P. Rawat, Principal Secretary, Shri Ashwini Lohani, MD, M.P. Tourism and a large number of tour operators and travel agents etc.