Madhya Pradesh suffers from poor connectivity, no direct links to many tourist locations and a road network which is in need of urgent improvement. The state tourism suffers from the twin problem of low awareness and low publicity as a tourist destination and poor quality of ‘tourism product’. Poor connectivity and poor infrastructure further aggravate the situation. Although MP State Tourism Development Corporation (MPSTDC) has set up hotels and facilities at all the important (fourteen) tourist locations and the state has in place a forward looking tourism policy with Eco-adventure tourism as its USP, the growth of tourism has been slow.
In the last decade the tourist arrivals have grown at a slow pace of 0. 65% p. a, with the domestic tourists growing at 0. 55% and foreign tourists growing at 7%. In 2000-2001, total tourist arrivals stand at around 11. 5 lac. The number of foreign tourists is small at around one lac. Obviously, this means low economic benefits from tourism, poor hotel occupancies, lack of interest and demoralization of the tourism related organizations.
M.P Tourism Essay Example
The report has outlined a strategy and has suggested a target for tourism department to double the tourist traffic to about 20 lac in the next decade and treble it to 33 lacs at the end of twenty year period. The marketing strategy concentrates on changing the image of the state to a tourist friendly state, with aggressive plans for their comfort and entertainment, appointment of a marketing and advertising agency, building strong relations with the travel and tour related trade, reorientation of the tourist information offices as marketing offices and a better use of its computerized reservation facilities.
In terms of improving the tourism product, in the short term quick gains can be made by focusing the state’s limited finances on a few locations with high potential, which are already well connected and have a reasonable infrastructure in place. These places which comprise mainly of Khajuraho, Gwalior, Bhopal-Sanchi, and the Kanha-Pench wildlife parks can be improved by sprucing them up, improving the environs, and offering ‘value for money’ experience to the tourists, thus quickly improving their utilization.
Other locations can be developed in the medium and long term. Domestic tourism should be stimulated by aggressive marketing in Calcutta and Gujarat. Convenience can be offered in terms of marketing package tours of high quality with all arrangements taken care of. LTC traffic of PSUs and Govt should be targeted. Places like Khajuraho and Gwalior are also well suited for marketing to corporates for their incentive tours to the trade and employees etc. Several suggestions have been made for increasing the duration of a tourists stay in M.
P. by adding side excursions to the main locations such as developing Panna wildlife park and nearby water falls as side attractions to Khajuraho tourists. Or by adding Gwalior and Orchha as additional itinerary for tourist en route to Khajuraho. Better quality control, better packaging and better display of the state’s exqusite handicrafts and silks can increase spending of tourists. Exotic forests produce like ‘Safed Musali’, a Viagra like product, or oriental perfumes are other attractive items for tourists.
The setting up of Bundelkhandi or Malwa restaurants for ethnic cuisine and evening entertainment can also increase tourist spend. The investment required for next twenty years is estimated at Rs 978 crores, of which 532 cr is by private sector for hotels etc. required mostly in the second decade and about 446 crores by government mainly for infrastructure, marketing and setting up of recreation and entertainment facilities. The economic benefit of tourism is very high with an incremental benefit estimated at Rs 9,500 crore over twenty years. The additional direct employment generation is estimated at 6 lac jobs.