Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren launched a new tourism policy for the state here on Saturday and announced that National Geographic India has been roped in for an upcoming documentary series to boost the state’s tourism sector, officials said.
Actor Rasika Dugal will be hosting the series — “Postcards from Jharkhand” — on the television channel from July 23, where she will highlight Jharkhand’s scenic views, mosaic art and culture and some of the unique experiences exclusive to the state, they added.
“Jharkhand is a hidden treasure house of nature, culture and sustainable living. From traces of ancient human civilisation to its picturesque natural beauty, charismatic heritage and the deep-rooted indigenous traditions and communities — it is a place you will feel at home,” Soren said on the occasion.
He said Jharkhand has been battling a lot of challenges and COVID-19 has hit the tourism industry hard.
“Many people suffered losses during the coronavirus pandemic, especially those associated with the tourism industry and hence, this new policy will help them recover their losses,” he said.
The chief minister said National Geographic has captured Jharkhand’s story through its lens in the most innovative way.
“Having someone like Rasika, who hails from Jamshedpur, on board, we are quite pleased to present an unseen Jharkhand like never before and welcome all the nature lovers and other travellers to visit and explore Jharkhand,” he said.
The new Jharkhand tourism policy includes having strategic joint ventures with private tour operators for setting up tourist packages and services, upgrading the tourist information centres (TICs) and conducting a detailed assessment of tourism potential of every district.
It also includes the involvement of experts in planning and executing “master plans” for the development of tourism circuits and tourism-related projects.
The strategy of the new policy includes conducting effective public awareness campaigns, particularly among the tribals, organising buyer-seller meetings to market the tourism products effectively and training all the stakeholders in tourism promotion, marketing and tourism-related services.
The key aspects of the policy focus on providing civic amenities and adopting ways for beautification of sites such as Deoghar, Parasnath, Madhuban and Itkhori, according to an official statement.
To help the tourists experience the regal and resplendent culture of Jharkhand, there is a push to organise food festivals, inter-state cultural exchange programmes and conferences to showcase the vibrant and diverse culture of the state.
“Efforts are also being made to bridge the gap between rural and urban areas and at the same time, boost the local rural economy. Activities include renovation of identified villages, promoting local cuisines, showcasing rural life, while publicising and promoting tourist-specific villages to enhance the potential of rural tourism,” the statement said.
The policy also focuses on water sports activities that will be started and extended to various water bodies in the state such as the Tilaiya, Massanjore, Chandil, Patartu, Getalsud, Kelaghagh, Kanke and Hatia dams. The policy aims to brand Jharkhand as a haven to “rest and recuperate” by means of expanding tourist units under the ambit of wellness tourism.
“Attractive provisions have been proposed for prospective investors, which include: direct purchase of land for tourism enterprises, road permits, subsidy limit of 20 to 25 per cent up to Rs 10 crore for new tourist units, new tourism units shall be entitled to reimbursement of 75 per cent of net SGST paid for five years since commencement of commercial operation, no holding tax to be charged to new tourism units and reimbursement of electricity duty for the first five years,” the statement said.