MP govt to promote ’boutique hotel’ concept

Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh government is planning to promote the ’boutique hotel’ concept, on the lines of Kerala, to boost tourism in the state, a senior official said today.

“We are working on promoting the boutique hotel concept on the lines of Kerala to tap the rich potential in the tourism sector,” Madhya Pradesh Tourism Commissioner and Secretary Hari Ranjan Rao told PTI.

“We have already initiated talks with the concerned parties in this regard and would soon invite bids for the process,” he said.

“The concerned people (some good brands) have shown an interest in setting up boutique hotels in the state after visiting various tourist spots including Hanuvantia (water tourism destination in Khandwa), Madhai (wildlife park in Hoshangabad), Kanha (wildlife sanctuary) among others,” he said.

“They are willing to participate and have welcomed the proposed bid process for the same,” he said.

It will also generate employment for a large number of people in the state, Rao said.

Referring to the proposed first 5-star hotel project in state capital Bhopal, he said it would come up in the next 3-4 years near Bhadbhada for which land has been allocated.

“We are also in the process of acquiring the Indian Tourism Development Corporation’s (ITDC) Lakeview Ashok hotel on the picturesque Shyamla Hills overlooking the scenic Upper Lake of Bhopal and would try to convert it into a 5-star property,” he said.

Lakeview Ashok is a joint venture of the ITDC and Madhya Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (MPTDC). The ITDC has agreed to off-load its 51 per cent share to the latter, he said.

“We are also planning to acquire an adjacent property of the Bhopal Municipal Corporation having a guest house. With that it will be a huge property and would be a major attraction,” Rao said.

On the fears in the mind of employees of Lakeview Ashok hotel, he assured that all of them would become employees of MPTDC once the necessary formalities in this regard are completed.

He said another 5-star hotel is proposed at the Minto Hall property adjacent to the Lower Lake.

Rao also informed about the setting up of wayside amenities on the highways to provide good facilities to the people and generate employment for the local youths.

Asked whether poor road connectivity is causing hindrance in promoting tourism, he said the issue is now limited only to a few national highways.

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has taken up the matter with Union Surface Transport and Highways Minister Nitin Gadkari, he added.