Gujarat serving 'Dessert in Desert' for tourists
With Gujarat tourism transforming the state, few years down the line, the southern region of the state will be on top of tourist’s must visit destinations.
With enriched history and geographical features, Gujarat is top most among the fastest growing state. Places which will give you enthralling moments to cherish and will own you in its own colour; Gujarat is poised to have a fantastic tourism infrastructure for both inbound and domestic tourist.
To discuss more about the state, MD of Gujarat tourism Jenu Devan had an exclusive conversation with
Srooti Jha where he mentioned about some upcoming projects and surprises, which await tourists. Read on:
Tell us about the plans and initiatives taken by Gujarat tourism for the upliftment of tribal region in southern Gujarat?
Out of the total population of the state, 22% are tribals residing in the southern region of Gujarat. To promote this tribal region, we have already started an initiative where we are offering unexplored tribal cuisine and handicrafts to the tourists. Secondly, we are trying to improve the employment, living standards and the income levels of the tribals. We are focusing specifically on Gujrat's tribal population and the area which has good tourism potential like Saputara in Dang District, which has 100% tribal population and places like Mahal forest, Vansda National park, Gir and other sanctuaries and National parks, where these tribal people are residing.
We have come up with a home-stay policy also, in which we are giving incentives to the tribal people for remodelling and to meet the basic criteria for making their place available for the tourists. If they meet the criteria, we upgrade them in silver and gold category. We give them certificates for home-stay and add them to our approved list of our sites, where these stays can be booked easily.
What is the vision of Gujarat tourism and the infrastructural development plan for the next five years?
Along with attracting more investment to the tourism sector, the main vision of Gujarat tourism is to give a pleasant and comfortable stay for the tourists. Moreover, to benefit both tourists and locals, Gujarat tourism is trying to engage youth for employment and helping tribal and rural people.
Infrastructure development of Gujarat is very good and we are investing 200-250 crores for infrastructure development in every budget. In nearby future, we will be focusing on prime areas like Buddhist circuits, where reminisce of Lord Buddha was found in a place called Devni Mori. A big Buddhist complex is in course of completion, where a big statue, Viharas, will be showcasing Buddhist culture and tradition at international level for other countries to participate. Similarly, a circuit is being built in which 13 Buddhist caves have been identified in Saurashtra. Apart from that, we also have Indus valley sites, Dholavira, and Lothal.
In Lothal, we are coming up with National Maritime Heritage Museum. Indus valley civilization is being
promoted in a very big way, and a University is coming with the collaboration of Ministry of Shipping.
Under our Border Tourism initiative, we are taking people to the Pakistan border, giving them the opportunity to see zero line, life of BSF Jawans, and retreat ceremony. Many upgradations have also been made in terms of basic amenities which will help attract tourist in many ways...so lots of investments are going on. Gujarat tourism department is also taking feedbacks from the tourist and travel agencies to know what exactly tourist from India and abroad are looking for. These feedbacks are taken categorically so that every age, belief and race preference can be specified.