MP aims to double hotel rooms

The Government of Madhya Pradesh has constituted a Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, a separate body from MPSTDC, in order to undertake tourism promotion and product development. MPSTDC will focus on managing the state properties and doubling the number of hotel rooms in the state.

Ankita Saxena

A separate Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board has been formed which will now handle all tourism promotion activities and represent the interests of all stakeholders at various platforms. The tourism board will be responsible for all interaction with the travel trade, promotion and publicity and also tourism product development. The Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh is the Chairperson of the board while Secretary Tourism will man the position of Managing Director.

Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation (MPSTDC) has been restructured and realigned to focus more on its core hotel business. Hari Ranjan Rao, Secretary-Tourism, Government of Madhya Pradesh, informs that with 72 hotels accounting for a total of 1725 keys, MPSTDC is one of the largest tourism corporations in the country, covering the entire geography of the state. “It was felt that the strength of the corporation should be leveraged by focusing on its core business to manage the state properties and expand the portfolio without compromising on the quality of service,” says Rao.

The 4th edition of Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart (MPTM) is going to be held in Bhopal from October 27-29, which will provide a platform to the key stakeholders of tourism and hospitality industry to come together and discuss business as well as increase tourism investment in the state. This year MPTM is expecting to host 200 national and international buyers and about 100 representatives of distinct Indian markets.

This year, the number of attendees is expected to cross over nine crores. “This year, we have constituted an advisory committee that will manage the entire event and we, as the government, will provide all kind of support to this committee. This step is modelled on the lines of Kerala Travel Mart,” says Rao.

New Initiatives
Rao says, “We have decided to give few properties on license to private players for 30 years. In the first round of bidding, we identified six properties at Neemuch, Nowgong, Chitrakoot, Katni, Datia and Handia and by the end of the month we will hand over these properties to the private players. The private players have to pay a one-time premium in the beginning and only one per cent premium of that amount is to be paid as license fee.” The state has also offered heritage properties to private players on a 90 years lease which include the Taj Mahal Palace in Bhopal, Govindgargh Fort in Riva and a third property will be handed over by the end of August.

Rao further adds that like Hanumantiya, this year too, the state has many projects underway. “We have come up with a beautiful resort at Sailani Island in Omkareshwar Dam which is 70 km away from Hanumantiya. We are also developing a resort in Gandhisagar Dam near Chittorgarh and Kota. Two other leisure destinations being introduced this year are Palpur-Kuno and Manikhera,” says Rao.

MP Tourism Board will participate at WTM and ITB and conduct its own roadshows across the country. “In Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Hyderabad and Pune, we will inform the trade about the travel mart and apart from these, we are conducting several roadshows in major cities of MP, inviting real estate developers along with tourism stakeholders to take on newer projects. We have a target to double the number of keys in five years and bring in 20 top brands in the hospitality industry to Madhya Pradesh,” explains Rao.

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