Bi­har’s 50% sub­sidy to pri­vate ho­tels

DK Sri­vas­tava, Di­rec­tor and Spe­cial Sec­re­tary, Bi­har Tourism talks about the cur­rent plans and on­go­ing developments…

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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.

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