SAYONI BHADURI – Mumbai
Geared up to promote Madhya Pradesh as the preferred destination, Raghwendra Kumar Singh, MD, Madhya Pradesh Tourism informed that the department is going to look at film shootings as tourism promotion tool. “Especially since the chief minister has announced that films shot in Madhya Pradesh will be tax free when screened in the state,” he added. The tourism department has initiated dialogues with film industry professionals to know more about the various requirements that a film crew has during shoots. “We know there are shortcomings in terms of infrastructure required for films and we are focused on developing them. There are private players who are looking at developing film city like set ups in the state for instance film producer Vashu Bhagnani has shown interest in such a project,” said Singh.
Apart from films, Singh informed, “We are looking at promoting the state Buddhist sites and are looking at promoting Sanchi in a big way.” He added that during the ground breaking ceremony of the international Buddhist university which is being developed at an investment of Rs 300 crore, the Sri Lankan president and the prime minister of Bhutan were present along with delegates from 18 nations. “The university provides a huge advantage to us and Sri Lankan Buddhism is closely linked to Sanchi that we intend to leverage on,” he said.
For 2013, Singh aims to invite private sector investments for the MPTDC resorts, it is key for the growth. “We are also working hard to develop infrastructure in terms of road and air connectivity. We will increase the network of Madhya Pradesh’s intrastate airlines Ventura as well. Also looking at creating new tourism zones and add new sectors,” he added.