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October 28, 2014 Exhibitions, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59The state of Madhya Pradesh in central India held its first international travel mart last week to introduce its bounty of natural, historical and cultural attractions.  35 sellers at Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart (MPTM) interacted with 115 travel trade buyers and media from 10 countries on 18 and 19 October at Palash Residency in Bhopal, capital city of Madhya Pradesh.

Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Chief Minister, Government of Madhya Pradesh, told at the inaugural event: “Tourism in Madhya Pradesh (MP) has grown with double digits since 10 years. We had 11.8 percent growth in 2013 alone. It’s the second biggest economic activity after agriculture and most of the Rupee 11.2 bn (USD 183.2 mn) investment expected in the state is for tourism. Indian ethos says Athiti Devo Bhava, guest is god. We go a step further and connect with guests from our hearts to host them in the heart of India.”

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chavan inaugurating MPTM

Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chavan inaugurating MPTM

 

The state of MP has nine national parks, 25 wildlife sanctuaries and three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. It is also the most sought after destination for domestic Indian travelers with a total of 68 mn visitors in 2013.

Mariana Nemes, Director, MarMa Club, a buyer from Hungary told EGTMedia: “Madhya Pradesh is very interesting and is located near to both Mumbai and New Delhi. People here are more personal and not commercialized like in other big cities. I had only visited the famous Khajuraho temple in MP earlier. I found some unusual products and new tour ideas at the mart.”

Hariranjan Rao, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism & Culture, Government of MP said: “Our new Tourism Policy launched in September has created 500 hectares of Government land at highly subsidised rates to investors in tourism.”

First Buddhist University has been set-up at an investment of 4 bn Rupees (USD 65.5 mn) near the World Heritage Buddhist site of Sanchi. 80 hectares of land is reserved at Sanchi for a golf course.

MP Tourism Pavilion at the mart

Sarabjit Singh, Senior Vice President, Indian Association of Tour Operators, said: “MP tourism has turned into a profitable organisation since10 years. It’s now the most opportune time for the state when Government of India is planning to introduce E-Visa for majority countries. MPTM is opening new avenues for tourism.”

Mr Chavan said: “Infrastructure is already being developed and we’ll be adding more hotels soon. Our aim is to cater to all strata of tourists from budget to the elite and we’ll create facilities to suit all. Popular local saying is that one can even shake hands with a tiger in the wilderness of Madhya Pradesh. Flora and fauna here is much more diverse than in that of Africa and we’ll do everything to tap that potential to suit visitors.”

Holy city of Ujjain will host Kumbh Mela in 2016. The astonishing human congregation for the dip in the sacred river will be an overwhelming religious attraction.

Mr Chavan said: “We plan to declare 2016 as the Year of Tourism.”  Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart will be an annual event.

Written by : Anand & Madhura Katti

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