Nagpur: Madhya Pradesh Tourism, under the leadership of C.M. Shivraj Chouhan and with the initiative of senior professionals of the Department like M.D. Hari Ranjan Rao and Additional M.D. Tanvi Sundriyal, IAS, is poised to become a serious tourist destination giving competition to states like Goa and Kerala. It is already the 6th most favored state by Indian tourists, but they hope to make it among the top 3 soon!
Not without reason. M.P., though a land locked state, has a lot to offer. Whether it is Pilgrimage to many beautiful and historical temples, or purely to admire Archeological treasures that speak of our glorious past, or a Call of the Wild, M.P. has it all. It has dense forests, lush mountains, perennial rivers all replete with beautiful and serene religious destinations. Hanuwantiya, the latest developed destination for instance. It is tranquil, unique and breathtakingly beautiful. A place where water festivals are being planned. Speaking of pilgrimage alone, it has a unique Budhist circuit on offer apart from many Hindu and Jain temples.
In fact, M.P. is one state that has an independent Tourism Cabinet which has 7-8 Ministers working in tandem – like Tourism, Forest, Finance, Rural Development etc. headed by CM himself to develop and promote tourism in the state!
Tanvi Sundriyal was in Nagpur yesterday to host ‘Let’s Talk Madhya Pradesh” a road show to promote various tourist destinations of MP.
“Nagpur is very important in our planning, since it is a developing metro that is closest to M.P. ” said Tanvi speaking to Nagpur press just before the Road show.
They have many new projects for this in the pipe line, many being visualized and implemented for the first time in the country.
Among these measures, she pointed out plans for:
- Way side amenities – these will be all inclusive tourist halting places that will offer clean Rest rooms, restaurants, shops for souvenirs etc. They will be logistically available every 50 – 60 Kms or so on M.P. highways. They are being planned on the PPP model. Strips of land by the road side will be identified by the M.P. government and acquired from the owner. Then it will be sold/ leased to the developer at fixed and very lucrative rates to build the facility.
- Developing and maintaining ASI sites also for tourists – this also is a first time endeavor of any state in India. The Archeological Society of India is otherwise very protective about their sites but it has allowed the M.P. government Tourism Dept. to develop infrastructure for tourists and maintain it so that people can visit and appreciate such places with comfort without disturbing or damaging the precious relics/ ruins etc. ( Educating local populace plus visitors is another action on their agenda).
- Budget hotels and Home Stays – M.P. being a very rich state potentially for tourism, many new hotels affordable to even the average Indian are being planned in partnership with private players. Individual families are being encouraged to offer Home Stays, with Bed and Breakfast included on the international pattern. Properties are scrutinized for suitability and owners trained in hospitality before permission for Home stays is given. 73 such Home stays have already been registered.