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MP pushes to drive private investment in tourism sector

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In a first of its kind in India, the state has also set up wayside amenities called Midway Treat which will be operated on the franchise model

Madhya Pradesh, known popularly as the heart of Central India, is working hard to drive private investment into the state’s tourism and hospitality sectors. Speaking on the sidelines of the fourth edition of Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart, Hari Ranjan Rao, tourism secretary, Madhya Pradesh, said, “MP Tourism has drafted a new policy for attracting private investment into the state. Land is the biggest cost of a new hotel project and since we have a lot of land, we are offering it at a very low reserve price. We have got very good response for this from around 22 to 30 hospitality brands. We are also offering our forts and palaces to private players to convert them into heritage hotels with a reserve price of only Rs. 1 lakh. Our belief is that instead of charging them a high price, we want them to invest the money in refurbishing the property. This is a change in our approach and thinking.”
Orange County’s next property is coming up in Mandu. Mahindra Holidays and local brand Pugdundee also have upcoming hotels. The Grand Bhagwati group is also building a convention centre in Indore. The Oberoi group is also building a new property in Khajuraho.

The state has also worked on providing quality infrastructure. It has set up wayside amenities called Midway Treat which will be operated on the franchise model, the first state in the country to do so. Very soon the entire state will have these Midway Treat outlets, informed Rao.

“We are also inviting interest from water activity operators. The tourism department can now issue licences to water sports operators after due diligence is conducted. Around 30 operators have already applied for licences to start mini cruises, houseboats, etc,” he stated.