Chronicle Reporter, Bhopal
Ever since Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board was constituted a year ago is constantly moving ahead to fulfil its objectives. The Tourism Board was constituted by a decision of the Tourism Cabinet at the famous tourism spot Pachmarhi.
The Board was constituted mainly to push tourism activities in the state by providing facilities to investors willing to invest in tourism sector. It has also created new job avenues.
While on the one hand the constitution of the Tourism Board has helped the State Tourism Corporation to focus much more on its main job that is hotel and hospitalility and infrastructure development, on the other hand the Board now has the important work of branding of Madhya Pradesh Tourism and its extensive campaign.
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan is the Chairperson of the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board and the Minister of State (independent charge) for Culture and Tourism and the Chief Secretary are its Vice-chairpersons. Principal Secretaries of Finance, Forest, Urban Development and Environment and Culture Departments are its Directors.
Principal Secretary Tourism, Managing Director is its ex-officio Member Secretary. A number of activities like planning, training, eco tourism and adventure tourism, creative and publicity activities, marketing, fairs, festivals and IT related activities are being conducted through the Tourism Promotion Unit of the Board.
The Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation is conducting hotels, restaurants, boat clubs, transport fleets etc like before.
The main functions of the Board include discharging all the responsibilities under Tourism Policy-2016, attracting private investors in tourism sector, investors’ facilitation, providing grants and facilities to investors as per the policy and to frame new policies to attract investors, implementing and monitoring these policies,continuously increasing the Land Bank by selecting suitable land for establishment of tourism projects, drawing up action plans for development and preservation of different places of tourist attraction like archaeological sites, wildlife areas, natural caves, parks, water areas and other places to promote tourism.
It is also tasked with participating in the national and international tourism events, fairs and to promote local cuisine, culture, crafts etc besides providing facilities for eco tourism.
Within a year, the Board has a number of achievements to its credit. The Board registered an impressive presence at the World Travel Mart held at London and shared the information with the prospective investors at the USTOA at Florida, US,Fetor at Madrid in Spain, A.I.M.E-2018 at Melbourne in Australia through attractive presentations on MP tourism. At the A.I.M.E.-2018 Madhya Pradesh Tourism was conferred the prestigious Best Exhibitor Award. Similarly, the Board held impressive road shows and investors’ meets in different cities of the country.
The Investment Promotion Unit (IPU) working under the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board has successfully executed a well-planned strategy as a result of which investment of about Rs.700 crore is likely to be made in tourism sector in Madhya Pradesh. In 49 districts of the state a land bank consisting of more than 849hectare government land has been set up at 144 places.
Besides, more than 431 hectare land has been identified at 71 places and the process of its transferring is on. Out of the Land Bank, some land has already been allotted to 7 private groups on a premium of Rs.23 crore 25 lakh. A Heritage Property Land Bank has been set up for private investment in construction of heritage hotels.
At present 8 properties are in the possession of the department. Of these, 3 properties have been given to the investors through tender process and a premium of Rs. 11 crore 64 lakh has been received against it. Ten other properties have been de-modified by the Archaeology department for this Land Bank.
The last one year witnessed holding of the 80-day third Jal-Mahotsav at Hanuwantiya Water Sports Complex and maiden Jheel Mahotsav at Bargi (Jabalpur) and Gandhisagar Dam (Mandsaur). Moreover, Bhoj Adventure Fest-2018 was held at Bhopal, Vindhya Mahotsav at Rewa, Nimar Utsav, Mandu Utsav, and Bega Olympic at Balaghat.
It may be mentioned here that 18 spots have been selected as water zones for promoting water tourism. The Board has been authorized to issue licenses for conducting water tourism activities at these places.