Chhattisgarh Tourism Minister, Shri Dayal Das Baghel speaking to T3FS in an exclusive interview says that there are many more stunning destination which are virgin to explore in Chhattisgarh.
Q1. How’s the Chhattisgarh tourism response in the current scenario?
Chhattisgarh Tourism has received an enthralling response both from the tourists as well as from the stakeholders of the tourism industry. Growth of tourism has been on the upswing for the last few years, particularly in terms of domestic tourists. Domestic tourist arrivals have been increasing at a rate of 12 to 15 per cent every year over the past few years. Overall, the state recorded 2.54 crore tourists last year. However, foreign tourist numbers are miniscule as we have not really been on the radar of global travellers. We are putting efforts to attract more international tourists. We are starting with a low base of foreign tourist arrivals in a year and we are steadily going to increase the numbers by focusing on attracting visitors from countries in South East Asia and Far East.
Q2. What is the USP of Chhattisgarh?
Chhattisgarh has its own rustic charm. It showcases the tribal lifestyle, traditional heritage and charm of rural India and these facets are the biggest USPs of the state. It has one of the lowest population densities in the heart of India so it is not crowded; it is very sparse and gives tourists the space that they require, and also an opportunity to explore the destination at leisure.
Q3. What is your marketing strategy?
We are making a lot of efforts in bringing Chhattisgarh on the tourism map of India and for which we are winning accolades from the tourism fraternity all over. Chhattisgarh Tourism has been taking various initiatives that include aggressive marketing & promotion for the comprehensive development. The destinations/attractions are highlighted through various media, viz, print, online, television, etc so as to increase the awareness of the destination among the potential tourist population. We also have created prominent social media presence and as a result eminent bloggers and travel writers from across the world are visiting Chhattisgarh and are giving wonderful reviews on this state.
Q4. What are the new upcoming projects?
We are promoting religious destinations of Dongargarh, Ratanpur and Amarkantak and water bodies like Gangrel, Kodar, Hasdeo Bango and Tandula.
Q5. What are the security measures taken by the Chhattisgarh government for the security of foreign travellers?
District administration and police departments are taking all the measures to provide security to foreign and domestic tourists.
Q6. What the contribution you gave in Chhattisgarh tourism? Did you introduce any new policies?
We are involving private sector in the development of tourism in Chhattisgarh on PPP (public-private partnership) basis and inviting major hotel chains to invest in hotel projects. We are developing infrastructure which involves public amenities, amphitheatre and a shopping area at Giraudpuri and also a huge convention centre is coming up at Raipur.
Our attention is also on the cleanliness drive under the auspices of the central scheme of ‘Clean India Campaign’. The tourist flow will remain poor if the assets created are not maintained properly. We are also focusing on manpower training and employment generation to create a manpower pool for travel trade and hospitality industry of this state under the scheme ‘Hunar se RozgarTak'.
Q7. What are the challenges for the Chhattisgarh Tourism?
The biggest challenge is to brand Chhattisgarh as a tourist destination within and outside the country.
Q8. What would you like to say just to describe Chhattisgarh only in one sentence?
Chhattisgarh is an eco-ethno delight.