Nitish woos tourism investors for Bihar
At the ‘Bihar Calling: Conference on Tourism, Heritage and Hospitality’, tourism experts brainstorm on the need to promote the spiritual heritage of the state through a new branding strategy.
Kumar was speaking at the ‘Bihar Calling: Conference on Tourism, Heritage and Hospitality’ organised by the State Tourism department in association with the Indian Chamber of Commerce. “Right now, tourists are coming on their own, but once development starts, there would be a lot of competition in the market, and you should make full use of the opportunity now,” he said to the investors. According to the Union Government report, over 11 lakh foreign tourists visited the State in 2012, compared to only 94,000 in 2006. The CM informed that over 50 lakh visitors are expected in the State to celebrate 350 years of Takht Sri Harmandir at Patna Saheb in 2016. The state had sought funds from the Centre to facilitate the event.
Bihar needs to have a refined roadmap for tourism that concentrates on every element, Shaun Mann, Tourism Programme Manager, International Finance Corporation (IFC) opines. “We have signed an agreement with the Government of India and the Government of Bihar recently in May for developing the Buddhist circuit in Bihar, utilising funds to the tune of 5 crore. The project is basically aimed at filling up the infrastructure and the resources gaps in the Buddhist tourism sector in India. We would start identifying the infrastructure gaps in the Buddhist circuit in the state by the end of June,” he added. According to Karan Anand, Director, Cox and Kings, there is a positive vibe in the state, but much has to be done in the field of infrastruc- ture development, hotels and highways among others.
Kamal Sahi, Resident Director, Bihar State Office, Indian Chamber of Commerce feels,“We are planning another event in October or November that will focus on inbound tourists to the state.” It is not possible for the government to develop the tourism and hospitality sector in any state without the support of private stakeholders, Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister, Bihar, feels. Urging private companies to invest in the tourism and hospitality sector in the state, he said, “We had discussions with the travel and tour operators during the last Udyami Panchayat. I guarantee security to the investors, but first they should invest.”
Chief Minister Bihar
Tourism Programme Manager, International Finance Corporation (IFC)