Pun­jab: More in­vest­ment in hos­pi­tal­ity

Sukhbir Singh Badal, the Deputy Chief Min­is­ter of Pun­jab speaks about the re­cent strate­gies to boost the state’s con­nec­tiv­ity and tourism devel­op­ment in what lies ahead.

TravTalk - India - - States - MEGHA PAUL

To boost the tourism and hos­pi­tal­ity devel­op­ment in Pun­jab, the state is now invit­ing in­vest­ments from pri­vate play­ers in the ho­tel sec­tor. Ac­cord­ing to Sukhbir Singh Badal, Deputy Chief Min­is­ter of Pun­jab, the state will be the next big des­ti­na­tion for in­vest­ment and tourism will be a ma­jor fo­cus area. Badal, who was speak­ing at the Ho­tel In­vest­ment Fo­rum In­dia (HIFI) 2013 in Delhi, also re­vealed that the state is coming up with an at­trac­tive pol­icy this month for the ho­tel in­dus­try. As­sur­ing easy clear­ances for up­com­ing ho­tel projects in the north In­dian state, Badal re­vealed, “We will of­fer sin­gle win­dow clear­ance for new ho­tel projects. Pun­jab is also speak­ing with some hote­liers and in­vestors to trans­form some of the forts in the state into ho­tels. We have some won­der­ful forts in Pun­jab and trans­form­ing them into ho­tels would be a good idea to pro­mote tourism and pre­serve her­itage.”

Aim­ing to boost con­nec­tiv­ity, the state will un­veil the Mo­hali air­port. “We are also de­vel­op­ing an in­ter­na­tional air­port in Mach­hi­wara. We have domestic air­ports in Pathankot and Lud­hi­ana apart from the in­ter­na­tional air­port in Am­rit­sar. The domestic air­port in Bathinda is also al­most ready,” he pointed out. A net­work of four- or six-lane ex­press­ways across the state, funded by an in­vest­ment of ` 76 bil­lion (US$1.39 bil­lion), is due to be ready in the next three years while the ` 75 bil­lion Lud­hi­ana metro project is ex­pected to be com­pleted in five years.

As a part of ramp­ing up in­fra­struc­ture, the state is also look­ing at in­te­grated tourism cir­cuits. The state is in ad­vanced stages of de­vel­op­ing a 4,400 acres en­ter­tain­ment cir­cuit in Lud­hi­ana that would in­clude ho­tels, restau­rants, shop­ping malls, sports are­nas, ad­ven­ture sports ar­eas for horse rac­ing, sa­faris, etc. The proj- ect will start by the end of 2013 and is likely to be com­pleted by 2018. Pun­jab is also go­ing to en­cour­age in­vest­ments in theme parks and is look­ing for pri­vate play­ers to take over the en­tire project or in parts, Badal added.

Eye­ing big con­fer­ences in the years to come, the state is in the process of set­ting up two con­ven­tion cen­tres, 100 acres each with the ca­pac­ity rang­ing be­tween 4,0005,000 pax each at Mo­hali and Am­rit­sar.

Ran­jit Sa­gar Dam will be devel­oped as a new high- end tourism des­ti­na­tion with water­sports fa­cil­i­ties and a 32 sq km lake as at­trac­tion while the is­land sites would be made avail­able for ho­tel and re­sort devel­op­ment.

The state is in ad­vanced stages of de­vel­op­ing a 4,400 acre en­ter­tain­ment cir­cuit in Lud­hi­ana

Sukhbir Singh Badal Deputy Chief Min­is­ter Pun­jab

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