BHOPAL: The emulation of Kerala’s ‘Responsible Tourism’ by Madhya Pradesh has raised the hopes of employment generation in and around tourist spots of the state.
After signing an MoU with the Kerala government earlier, a special session on Responsible Tourism is being organized at the Chhatrasal Convention Centre, in Khajuraho, that was inaugurated on Friday.
The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, as a precursor to MICE Roadshow ‘Meet in India’, organized the special session on Responsible Tourism at Khajuraho. The session focused on discussing various initiatives to position Khajuraho as an Iconic Destination and various successful case studies and best practices on Responsible Tourism across the country were presented.
Secretary tourism said that the union ministry has sanctioned 4 projects for Rs 350.26 crores in MP. These projects have been sanctioned under Wildlife, Buddhist, Heritage and Eco Tourism Circuits. The project sanctioned under Heritage Circuit includes interventions for Rs 44.99 crore in Khajuraho and surroundings, out of which Rs 34.99 crore have been sanctioned by the Ministry of Tourism for development of Convention Centre at Khajuraho.
The Ministry of Tourism has framed “Development of Iconic Tourist Destinations Scheme”, a Central Sector Scheme for development of nineteen identified iconic destinations in the country following a holistic approach. A total of 19 sites have been identified as Iconic Sites which include Khajuraho. The Ministry has identified these sites on the basis of existing footfall, regional distribution, potential for development & showcasing as world-class destination and ease of implementation.
Decrease in footfall at Khajuraho worries all
There has been a considerable decrease in visitors to the international heritage site. Though the recent decrease could be attributed to the covid pandemic a gradual decrease in the number of foreign visitors is a major cause of concern.
In the year 2014-15 numbers, foreign visitors stood at 71,307 that has come down to a mere 100 in 2020-21. Latest figures of 2020-21 could be justified but even earlier in the year 2019-20 there were only 41,191 foreign visitors.
Tourism industry experts attribute the fall in number of foreign visitors to bad connectivity of Khajuraho. Its air connectivity besides rail and road, all are not favorable for international tourists.