Gujarat cracks the coconut for Tourism as Rajasthan adopts ‘wait & watch’ policy

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Come September and the state of Gujarat, has unrolled a marvel Heritage Tourism Policy to allow business inside ancient monuments so that visitors enjoy a rare ambience and local folk step up own economy. Congratulations to Gujarat Tourism from EBNW team. Harsh Vardhan throws light on the new policy and sounds a wake up call for Rajasthan Tourism too.

Heritage hotels, museums, banquet halls and restaurants inside historic palaces, forts and buildings, are now allowed to start tourism activities therein. 

This policy has been declared after many rounds of discussions with the stakeholders,” said Mamta Varma, Secretary, Gujarat Tourism Department. It is applicable to historic structures that existed before January 1, 1950.  

Big financial help

The policy ensures a financial assistance of Rs 5-10 crore for renovation or expansion of a new heritage hotel or an existing one. The government will give a 20 per cent subsidy (maximum of Rs 5 crore) if the investment is up to Rs 25 crore. If the investments are over Rs 25 crore, then the maximum subsidy would be Rs 10 crore.  Similarly, to begin a new heritage museum, banquet hall or restaurant or to renovate or restore an existing one, financial assistance of Rs 45 lakh to Rs 1 crore will be provided. 

This financial aid will be given at 7 per cent interest for five years and will not exceed Rs 30 lakh in a year. In these five years, the government will give 100 per cent relief in electricity duty, marketing support and rent assistance in national and international events. 

Bihar and Kerala make strides  

New Delhi-based Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned two projects in Bihar and Kerala at a cost of Rs 125 crore under the Rural Circuit as part of its endeavour to take tourism to villages of the country. It came as an announcement by the Tourism Minister, Prahlad Patel. 

People matter in Rural Tourism, photo by Harsh Vardhan

The Bihar project is for development of the Bhitiharwa -Chandrahia -Turkaulia circuit, amounting to Rs 44.65 crore. 

The other is for development of Malanad Malabar Cruise Tourism in Kerala, amounting to Rs 80.37 crore. 

The ministry has also instituted a National Tourism Award in the category of ‘Best Rural/Agri/Plantation Tourism Projects” to motivate the stakeholders in the tourism sector for implementing such projects. 

Lot is available in rural areas like this Purple Sunbird, photo by Durga Lal Verma

What are you doing Rajasthan?

With locational advantages (for example New Delhi and Agra) and dotted with innumerable Forts, Palaces, Castles, Heritage havelis (mansions), Handicrafts, Culture, Folk Musicians (Langa and Manganiyar community),Thar Desert, and erstwhile princes too willing to throw open their heritage-gates, Rajasthan, the largest state in India, has been reigning supreme in Tourism, and globally. What next? The wildlife scenario is second to none while combined with usual Tourism. 

A new Tourism Policy was launched by Rajasthan during August 2020. However, operators feel it does not offer meat and oil to cook any worthwhile new Tourism Product. They were not appropriately consulted while it was being chalked out, said a leading Tour operator not willing to disclose her name. 

When shall this wait and watch policy end for Rajasthan Tourism? He asked.

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