Madhya Pradesh promotes itself as monsoon destinationAugust 31st, 2008 - 5:06 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 31 (IANS) If you thought that monsoons are not the best time to pack the bags and head for a tourist destination, then think again as Madhya Pradesh has emerged as the hottest new monsoon destination in the country.Boasting of a range of geographical landscapes and interest - from the hills of Pachmarhi to the wildlife reserves of Kanha, the religious sites of Sanchi and Ujjain to the historically rich Mandu and Orchha, Madhya Pradesh has been aggressively promoting itself as the ideal monsoon destination.
In a national seminar on monsoon tourism in the national capital last week, Ashwani Lohani, managing director of the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (MPTDC) said that the state has taken various initiatives to promote monsoon tourism, such as improving connectivity and better roads.
“Good roads are a must if we want to get more tourists to come during the rains and things have improved considerably over the last four years,” Lohani said.
He added that the state is planning to set up round-the-clock control rooms which will attend to distress calls by tourists and reach to their rescue.
“Also, cities like Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore and Jabalpur, will soon have a mobile phone technology at their disposal by which tourists can be informed about the various sites of interest in those places,” said Lohani.
Highlighting its easy accessibility from all parts of the country as its USP, officials of the Madhya Pradesh tourism department said that the lake city of Bhopal, the world heritage site of Bheembetka, Sanchi, the Buddhist pilgrimage site and the old capital of the Nawab of Bhopal are the ideal monsoon destinations in the state.
Leena Nandan, joint secretary of the tourism ministry, said that they are working with the states to develop special promotional packages during the monsoons.
“The foreign tourist arrivals have increased by 14.3 percent in 2007, as compared to 2006 and the time has come to attract tourists in the lean season as well.
“We have to innovate to attract tourists during the monsoon period. Prime packages that can be offered at this time are honeymoon packages, Ayurveda rejuvenation holidays, houseboat cruises and rain walks,” said Nandan.
Besides Madhya Pradesh, the other states promoting monsoon tourism include Goa, Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Uttaranchal, Jammu and Lashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Assam.