ABHISHEK CHAKRABORTY – Jaipur
The Rajasthan government is working on new products to promote the state as a unique destination. “Sambhar (salt lake) is the largest inland salt lake in the country. Now with the help of Hindustan Salt we are going to improve the infrastructure there and promote the place as a heritage location. Moreover, this area gets a large number of migratory birds. So this will become a new attraction and will encourage tourists to visit again and again,” said Rakesh Srivastava, principal secretary, tourism, Rajasthan government.
The principal secretary also said that the state tourism department is focusing on improving infrastructure at major tourism destinations in the state to attract tourists. “First we will upgrade the infrastructure, and then we will put it on the website,” he added. According to him, Rajasthan’s investment-friendly policy such as low land conversion charges at select areas and the remission of luxury tax by 50 per cent for start-up ventures will encourage the tourism industry. “Our tourism budget for 2013-14 is Rs 40 crore and we are also getting support from the ministry of tourism, Government of India. We have also sent our proposal to the Centre for a mega tourism project in Jaipur,”informed Srivastava.
Talking about hygiene, he added, “We are trying to make a congenial atmosphere for tourists, a home away from home. We would provide them with a clean bed-sheet, a clean room and a clean bathroom, apart from security.” Srivastava added that the state attracted nearly 30 million tourists, of whom 1.5 million were foreign nationals.
“The year-on-year growth of inbound tourists in Rajasthan in 2012 was eight per cent. Domestic inbound growth stood at about 6.75 per cent and the overall inflow rise was about 5.74 per cent,” added Srivastava.