Rituparna Chatterjee – Mumbai
Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation (MPSTDC) is focusing on developing the hospitality infrastructure in smaller regions of the state with a view to highlight the destination’s multiple tourism offerings and achieve higher tourist footfalls. Under this initiative, the corporation will invite private players to convert heritage properties into heritage hotels and subsequently give the properties on a 99 year management lease. The regions selected under this PPP model include Orchha, Maihar, Datia, Pachmarhi, among others. Speaking exclusively to Food & Hospitality World about this initiative, Leena Karkera, resident manager, MPSTDC stated, “We are leveraging the PPP model for restoring our palaces by converting them into heritage hotels. These properties would be given to the private players on a 99 year management lease. This project is presently in our pipeline, but the time of its execution depends upon the new MD and other factors. Moreover, we would also be renovating some old hotels and constructing roadside inns with playgrounds for families travelling with kids.” Plans are also underway to develop more accommodations near water bodies in the state, she added.
Apart from hospitality infrastructure, the corporation is also focusing on improving air connectivity and tourism footfalls. Commenting on this, Karkera opined, “Things on which we can improve upon is our air connectivity. Secondly, wheat is an important part of our diet, and the government is bringing agriculturalists from abroad to help train farmers on the best practices. Plus, few international destinations have also expressed their wish to set up their agricultural offices in states like MP, Gujarat, etc, this year. This will add value to tourism since many foreigners will be travelling to these states on work.”