There is no denying that the state of Madhya Pradesh is the heart of India, which receives huge number of domestic as well as inbound tourists. However, besides its natural bounty, what is also noteworthy in the region are the judicious activities carried out by the officers at the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, who leave no stone unturned in their efforts to increase the tourist flow. Yuvraj Padole, Deputy Director – Events and Marketing, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, falls in the same category of hard-working officials, who is extremely passionate about tourism in the state. Here is his exclusive interview with BOTT India.
Priyanka Saxena Ray
As the tourist flow continues to increase into the region of Madhya Pradesh, thanks to its cultural, historical and wildlife attractions, the tourism department is busy strengthening the infrastructure of the state. “Trends today are changing very fast and people who are now coming to MP are young. We have thus introduced the ‘Active Holiday Concept – staying active while holidaying’, which is something the youngsters today completely identify with. With the aim to enjoy the space around you, MPTB has arranged for some activities to be indulged in during one’s stay at a resort, for people of all age groups,” he shares.
Up next, the state tourism board aims at filling up the rooms during the rainy season and thus they have developed Panchmarhi as an ideal monsoon getaway. Since the road connectivity to the region is very good and Panchmarhi is beautiful destination, pulling crowd to the town wasn’t very difficult. “Enroute Panchmarhi, we have introduced ‘Way Side Amenities’ along the road such as toilets, refreshment areas and more. Around 250 WSAs are ready and getting good response from the visitors. Plus, we have also developed homestays in the region for people who wish to get a feel of the true MP lifestyle,” he elaborates.
The state tourism board is also laying extra focus on boosting Agri and Rural Tourism in the area. They have briefed up villagers also to not be afraid of tourists as sometimes they become wary while witnessing foreigners in large numbers. These inbound tourists are extremely fascinated with this village culture – especially when they see women cooking on fire.
“We have tried to link tourism to employment as we feel that is one way of holding people back in their hometown and not have been running into the city in search of employment. When tourism in growing in a certain area, it provides job opportunity to a lot of its local resident. Unskilled, semi-skilled and skilled – all categories of people get employed, thanks to the growth of tourism. We even teach them Basic English so that they can communicate with the foreign tourists. All this is done through the ‘Hunar se Rozgar’ scheme,” elaborates Yuvraj, the passion and pride clearly reflecting in his voice as he humbly shares achievements of the tourism board.
There is much that the MP Tourism Board is doing in the field of imparting education. There are doing it all through the 5 IHMs wherein they offer 6 months – 1 year training certificate and have also linked it to employment. They have invested in 4 Food Craft Institutes, which imparts culinary skills at an extremely nominal fee. “We are moving slowly and steadily addressing issues of manpower while skilling the people of our state and ensuring they get employment in the burgeoning tourism industry,” he concluded.