Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart 2018
Tapping Tourism in Central India
Madhya Pradesh Tourism enlightens travel fraternity from India and abroad with the fifth edition of Madhya Pradesh Travel Mart in Bhopal.
With over 75 buyers from more than 25 countries, 125 buyers from different Indian states, including tour operators, travel agents, hoteliers, stakeholders from the travel fraternity; the fifth edition of Madhya Pradesh Tourism Mart opened up on October 5, 2018 at the historic Minto Hall in Bhopal, an old assembly hall that has been converted into a convention centre.
Hari Ranjan Rao, principal secretary, MP Tourism, said, “We take pride in telling the world that the heritage Minto Hall has been converted into an international standard convention centre in Bhopal. It was very challenging to convert a 100-year-old heritage building into a convention centre, ensuring that it did not lose its heritage character, while equipping it with the most modern conferencing amenities.”
The opening ceremony was followed by inauguration of a travel trade exhibition at the Hotel Lake View Ashoka by Hari Ranjan Rao along with Pramod Kumar, tourism minister of Bihar as well as representatives of the leading tourism associations and other officials. The event brought together national and international travel trade professionals providing multiple opportunities to tap the ever-growing market. On the sidelines of the exhibition, a press conference was addressed by Rao, where he mentioned that several initiatives have been undertaken in the state with separate tourism cabinets, organising water adventure festival Hanuvantiya, City Walk Festival, students tourism quiz, etc. Madhya Pradesh has won 10 National Tourism Awards for the second consecutive year. Among them, the Hall of Fame award as been effective for three years.
Rao added that film tourism is another new segment that the tourism department is looking to tap, adding that a lot of film producers are now looking at MP to shoot their movies. A recent Hindi film, “Sui Dhaaga: Made in India”, starring Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma, was almost entirely filmed in Chanderi, a town in MP known for its textiles. Rao added that tourists come to MP not just for its wildlife but also for religious sites and water sports. He said, “We have huge dams that have created backwaters that range from 500 sq km to 900 sq km and we have opened up these large water bodies for tourism. We have started houseboats, cruise boats, speedboats which take visitors to islands where they can camp overnight and do water sports, wildlife spotting, etc.”
Adventure tourism is being actively promoted in the state. Adventure Next, a global event which will take place in the first week of December in Bhopal, will be an important step in this direction. Captain Swadesh Kumar, President of Adventure Tour Operators Association, said that in the coming years adventure tourism will become more important and that this activity should be promoted in this context in MP so that the state’s full potential can be realised.