Bihar’s 50% subsidy to private hotels
DK Srivastava, Director and Special Secretary, Bihar Tourism talks about the current plans and ongoing developments…
has been an exponential increase in foreign and domestic tourist arrivals into the state in the last five years. While the state received just 94,000 foreign visitors in Bihar in 2006, it has now risen to 9.7 lakh foreign visitors in 2011. This was revealed by Srivastava while speaking at a seminar organised by the PHD Chamber in Delhi.
According to Srivastava, Bihar contributes to 20 per cent of India’s foreign tourist arrivals. Every year, there are five million FTAs in India. Out of this, around 1 million come to Bihar which means that Bihar contributes 20 per cent to FTAs in India, he claimed.
The Bihar Tourism department is also in the process of revamping its website, which will be launched by June this year. Information about Bihar will be made available in five different languages on the site. It will also offer a 360-degree virtual tour of about 70 important tourist sites in the state, he added.
For upgrading the existing facilities at the privatelyoperated hotels and restaurants in the region to improve the hospitality facilities, Bihar Tourism is also looking at capital subsidies as well. The state government will offer 50 per cent capital subsidy to private hotel operators for all types of improvement work which follow norms laid down by the Bihar Tourism Department. Srivastava said. The tourism department will also start upgrading its properties in the state. There are around 21 hospitality units under the department and these will be upgraded to star- category hotels as per the Ministry of Tourism norms. The process of appointing consultants for this job has already started. Bihar Tourism is also considering incentives such as exemption from sales tax on jet fuel to lure private airlines to operate direct flights between Bodhgaya and Delhi, he added. “The state government has also approached the AAI to reduce airport charges at Gaya airport,” he said.