Tourism Minister Shri Tukojirao Puar has said that Madhya Pradesh will soon emerge as best tourism state in the country. Private sector and tour operators will have an important role in this. Shri Puar was speaking as chief guest at state-level Tourism Awards distribution function held at Hotel Jehan Numa Palace on the occasion of World Tourism Day. Chairman of Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation Dr. Mohan Yadav, Deputy Chairman Shri Santosh Jain, Principal Secretary Tourism Shri Deepak Khandekar, Secretary and Commissioner Tourism Shri Hariranjan Rao and Managing Director Shri Pankaj Raag were the guests of honour on the occasion.At the function, office-bearers of tour operators associations, officers and employees of the corporation and others were honoured for their contribution to promoting tourism. Three books and one print-aid were also released.
Minister Shri Puar said that Madhya Pradesh has made unprecedented progress in tourism sector during the last five years. It is a state where tourism has multiple hues. Here all kinds of tourism are available including religious, adventure, wildlife etc. The only requirement is full utilisation of this potential for which the proper infrastructure is being developed in the state. He said that private players and tour operators have to essay an important role in this connection. The days are not far when tourism will be the biggest revenue-generating sector in Madhya Pradesh. He said efforts are afoot provide best services available to tourists of all categories in the state. Air taxi service has been started, which is going to yield good results. Madhya Pradesh will soon emerged on the map of world tourism prominently.
Corporation’s Chairman Dr. Mohan Yadav said that concept of tourism is age-old in India. About 1400 years ago, Adi Shankaracharya had termed journey to Char Dham (four pilgrimages) as the biggest achievement of his life and had given the message that tourism increase life’s experiences.
Managing Director Shri Pankaj Rag informed that a target has been fixed to attract one percent tourists of the world to Madhya Pradesh under 12th Five-Year Plan. For this, attention is being given to aggressive marketing and infrastructure development. Shri Rag said that special attention has been given to development of less famous tourist destination situated around famous tourist places so that a tourist does not return from the main tourism destination in just a day and instead stays for some more days to enjoy all the nearby tourist places. He said that efforts are being made for making air taxi link available between Agra and Khajuraho. Besides, film tourism is also being promoted. For this, a road show will be held in Mumbai in October.
Three books were also released on the occasion. One book is focused on Ratlam, Neemuch and Mandsaur, second on Bhojpur-Bhimbethka and third one on Omkareshwar-Maheshwar.
Deputy Chairman of Indian Association of Tour Operators Shri Pradeep Sarkar said that Madhya Pradesh has become a very tourism-friendly state now. Its campaigns on radio and TV are quite impressive. Tour operators’ attention towards Madhya Pradesh has increased due to road shows organised by Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation. Due to this, the number of tourist coming to Madhya Pradesh has risen. He lavished praise on air taxi and other tourism facilities in the state.
President of Association of Domestic Tour Operators Shri Subhash Verma said lauded Madhya Pradesh government’s effort to promote domestic tourism. He said that domestic tourism is not tourism alone, but also a source to promote national integrity and unity and generate employment. Madhya Pradesh has now becoming a leading state in tourism sector.
At the outset, the guests lighted a lamp to inaugurate the function. Mementoes were presented to the guests. Corporation’s Deputy Chairman Shri Santosh Jain proposed a vote of thanks at the conclusion of the function.
State Tourism Awards
On the occasion, awards of various categories were given away to 36 persons for special contribution in tourism sector. They included Shri Deepak Deva of Kuoni Destination India Management, Gurgaon and Shri Yadvendra Singh of Star Adventure Himalayan Sports Institute (Adventure Sports) in tour operator category, Shri M.S. Gujral of Hotel Rishi Regency Jabalpur, Shri P.J. Pillai of Welcome Heritage Narmada Jackson Jababalpur, Shri Nadir Rasheed of Renipani Lodge Madai, Shri Dharmesh Karippa of Hotel Chandela Khajuraho and Shri Anil Kumar of Ambrosia Hotel Fortune Landmark Indore in the hotel category. Tourist guides Shri Lakhanlal Rajak and Shri Ghanshyam Goswami, tourist operator Shri Vijay Singh Parihar and Smt. Naseem Yusuf, Smt. Arti Khedekar, Shri Tahir in other special categories and Shri Surendra Singh, Shri H.S. Mohanta, Shri B.P. Nagaich, Shri Rajat Charkarvarti were also honoured on the occasion apart from Hoshangabad Collector Shri Nishant Badbade at the Tourist Friendly Collector.
Honoured staff of Tourism Corporation
Similarly, officers and employees were also honoured with awards for putting in best services. They include Shri S.K. Gupta, Ujjain, Shri Ashok Sahu, Bhopal, Shri D.S. Parihar, Indore, Shri Rakesh Argal, Bhopal, Smt. Mini Thomas, Bhopal, Shri Yuvraj Padole, Nagpur, Shri Vilash Purdare, Gwalior, Shri Rudra Bahadur Khadag, Gwalior, Shri Mohammad RAfi, Pachmarhi, Shri Ram Bhuvan Gupta, Satna, Shri Shyam Dave, Kota-Bargi, Shri Ganeshilal, Khajuraho, Shri Tejpal, Pachmarhi, Shri Rajendra Tarul, Ahmadadbad, Shri Shekhar Athle, Bhopal, Shri Chandrabhan Rai, Bhopal, Shri M.S. Rana, Orchha, Shri S.A. Naqvi, Bhopal, Shri Ajid Dhar, Kolkata, Shri Ajay Sharma, Pachmarhi, Shri A.U. Khan, Pachmarhi and Shri M. Joseph, Bhedaghat.