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.

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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.”

Ni­tish Kumar

Chief Min­is­ter Bi­har

Shaun Mann

Tourism Pro­gramme Man­ager, In­ter­na­tional Fi­nance Cor­po­ra­tion (IFC)

Karan Anand

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