Gujarat expects Rs 1 lakh cr in tourism in next five yrs

Written by feBureau | Mumbai | Updated: Dec 30 2008, 05:42am hrs
Undeterred by the current slowdown and the Mumbai terrorists attack, the BJP-led government in Gujarat proposes to aggressively market tourism sector and expects an investment of Rs 1 lakh crore in next five years. The government in a bid to attract investors proposes to unveil an investor tourism policy, announced Gujarat tourism minister Jai Narayan Vyas on Monday at the roadshow for the Vibrant Gujarat slated for January 11, 12, 13.

Vyas, who was accompanied by the Gujarat Tourism Development Corporation chairman Kamlesh Patel and the state tourism secretary Kishore Rao D, told FE that The proposed policy will address various concerns of the investors and facilitate investment in the sector. Gujarat, which has emerged as the leading investment destiantion in the industry sector, has every potential to become leader in the tourism sector and the tourism policy will provide much needed support.

The minister informed that the tourism corporation has selected 37 destinations for integrated tourism development and in last two years more than 600 projects in 300 tourist destinations have been taken up with a cost of more than rs 100 crore.

Meanwhile, the government is looking at promoting Kutch as an aqua-tourism destination attracting not just leisure travellers but also Meeting, Incentive, Conference and Exhibition (MICE) segment. It will grow a 3-5 days destination, said the tourism secretary Kishor Rao D. He added that currently the hotel inventory is more or less clogged around the Saurashtra region due to better road and air connectivity, however with regional airlines and bus transport being heavily promoted by the government the dynamics are soon to change. Last year, Gujarat received 1.40 crore tourists.

Rao indicated that availability of land for hotel projects is a problem. He said that in the state government land is leased to companies for hotel projects, which in case of big luxury projects is becoming a problem as the government does not have large chunks of land. There are 10-12 hotel projects in pipeline over the last two years and another 15-17 projects across segments are expected in the year ahead ranging from Kutch to Surat, he said. The conversion of old palaces into heritage hotels is also looked at with the first such agreement to be signed the coming January.