Madhya Pradesh is looking at up to 15 per cent increase in tourist arrivals to around 7.5 crore this year as it undertakes a slew of initiatives to promote the state as a preferred destination.
The central Indian state saw about 7 crore tourist arrivals last year.
“We are expecting between 10 to 15 per cent growth in 2016 to around 7.5 crore tourist arrivals to the state and we expect this growth rate to continue,” Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation MD Hari Ranjan Rao told PTI.
This would be achieved based on the multiple initiatives the state is taking, he added.
“We are now giving lot of stress from getting investments from the private sector, as tourism is a largely private sector driven activity. So we expect them to provide more number of hotels and good accommodation for tourists to enjoy the state,” Rao said.
One of the initiatives that is being take is to organise the third edition of ‘Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart’ in October in Bhopal. It will be attended by national and international tourism professionals, he added.
“Another is getting tourism on the priority of the government’s agenda and the most important step has been taken by the chief minister, that is to set up a ‘Tourism Cabinet’ which actually is a cabinet sub committee on tourism issues,” Rao said.
The other steps that are being taken are improving the infrastructure, bringing all stakeholders on board and pursuing the goal of sustainable tourism, he added.
Madhya Pradesh is centrally located and it offers heritage sites, wild life, nature, religious destinations and huge water bodies and we have also launched water based tourism activities,” Rao said.
Madhya Pradesh also has three of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites: Bhimbetka, Sanchi and the 10th century Khajuraho temples.