Sheo Shekhar Shukla, IAS, Principal Secretary, Tourism & Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board underlines the vital role of private players in the state’s tourism progress.
Gwalior and Orchha have been included in the list of UNESCO’s world heritage cities under its urban landscape city programme. The news is expected to boost sustainable development as well as tourism potential for both the cities. What are your plans for these cities?
Inclusion of Gwalior and Orchha in the UNESCO’s world heritage cities urban landscape city programme, will certainly give a much needed visibility the cities deserve. Both these destinations are under the GOI heritage circuit scheme, which has helped in upping the infrastructure and experience quotient. We are trying to create an independent brand by
promoting it as a heritage corridor/ quad heritage cities by developing a circuit and promoting it in the international markets in particular (Gwalior- Orchha- Khajuraho- Chanderi). Organizing festivals like the famous Tansen Music Festival named after the musical genius and Namaste Orchha helps in promoting the destination and attracting more tourists. Interesting walk tours have been designed for the city of Gwalior and Orchha which are operated by locals.
The Chambal-Morena region is a great value add to the city of Gwalior. Excursions are arranged to the Bateshwar, Mitawli and Padavali temples which are architectural marvels. MP being a Ghadiyal state an interesting tour is operated to the Chambal Ghadiyal sanctuary where one can explore the beauty of the region through a boat safari.
There is a lack of large MICE venues in MP, what are you doing to develop the infrastructure for the same?
MPT realises the high potential of MICE and the benefits thereof & hence, there is a constant endeavour in that direction. In the last few years, two Convention centres with all modern and state of the art facilities (1) Minto Hall International convention Centre in Bhopal and (2) Chhatrasal Convention Centre in Khajuraho have been developed by MPSTDC. Adventure Next by ATTA (Adventure Travel Trade Association) a US based association was hosted at Minto Hall International Convention Centre, Bhopal. The State Tourism Board has engaged ICPB to organise a B2B Conclave in ‘Chhatrasal Convention Centre’ in Khajuraho between March 25-27 coinciding with the opening of the Convention Centre.
Amongst its various cities such as Jabalpur, Gwalior, MP’s financial capital Indore, with its state-of-the-art Brilliant Convention Centre (BCC), has emerged the most sought-after destination for large-scale events like congresses, global summits, association meetings and convention. The Grand Bhagwati’s (TGB) has added another meeting venue to Indore’s growing profile in this area. TGB Palace, Indore was also the venue of 31st Annual IATO Convention. Orchha, being one of the smallest town, have the capacity of hosting a MICE for approx. 700 guests at Orchha Palace Convention Centre. So, MP is all geared up to give a big boost to business travel in the State by partnering with various like-minded associations and business groups.