28th edition of South Asia’s Travel & Tourism Exchange or SATTE 2021 concluded in Greater Noida’s India Expo Mart on Friday. It witnessed participation from all the major travel stakeholders from India and abroad as well. The three-day event saw partnerships and announcements that indicated revival of the travel industry battered and bruised by the pandemic. SATTE’s platform offered all stakeholders in the tourism and hospitality industries an opportunity to interact and trade ideas and deals. Various travel boards/organisations also participated to promote their state in the country’s travel sector. Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board participated in the event to educate and highlight the growth of travel and tourism in the ‘Heart of India’. Yuvraj Padole, Deputy Director, Events and Marketing, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board in conversation with the Financial Express Online talked about the state’s potential as a MICE destination in India. “Madhya Pradesh is coming up as a MICE hub, I am very happy to inform you that a new convention center was inaugurated in Khajuraho on Thursday by the hon’ble Chief Minister of MP Shivraj Singh and central Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh and it is one more addition to the state’s MICE segment,” he said, adding that besides this the state has many convention centers in Indore, Orchha and Bhopal.
“Slowly we are coming up in the MICE sector also. We are just waiting for the situation to normalize and lots of companies from pharmaceutical sector and other firms in Indore and nearby places and some companies from Gujarat, as it is very close to us, they appreciate the infrastructure development in Madhya Pradesh. So we have great hope that MICE tourism will do very good in Madhya Pradesh,” he added. On being asked about the state’s plan to promote Khajuraho as a wedding destination, which has also been added to the iconic site’s list of India, Yuvraj Padole shed light on the state’s plans to promote Khajuraho and nearby places and changes he foresees in Khajuraho’s travel scenario in Khajuraho and changes taking place there.
“Most tourists who visit Khajuraho from abroad are those who come there after visiting the Golden triangle of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. So, the advantage of Madhya Pradesh is its location. It is centrally located and once a traveller completes his golden triangle visit in Agra then Gwalior is just one hour away and Jhansi is nearby. From Jhansi, we have developed a Golden arc that comprises Orchha, Khajuraho and Panna. So, you get a combination of travel destinations which includes one wildlife site, one heritage site and one historical/religious place. This is a unique thing,” Padole said.
“Orchha is a place which is also coming up as a royal wedding destination site. With the help of liberal policies of the government, now the ASI and state archaeology deptt have allowed people to use certain portions of Jehangir Palace in Orchha as a destination wedding site.This is a great advantage we have. Earlier people used to go to Rajasthan only for royal weddings but now such theme weddings can also take place in Madhya Pradesh and in places like Orchha, Gwalior, Khajuraho, Mandu where we have sufficient accommodation available one needs a good number of rooms for weddings and other such functions. We have upgraded the number of rooms and basic infrastructure facilities. We are hopeful to promote places like Orchha, Khajuraho, etc., as wedding destinations also,” Yuvraj Padole told Financial Express Online.
Pitching Madhya Pradesh as one of most exciting tourist destinations in the country, Padole said that the state has immense potential for the growth of inbound tourism. “Madhya Pradesh is a versatile State having variety of tourism products, we have activity filled tourist destinations, wildlife safaris, natural scenic beauty, adventure activities, camping, water sports, Cuisines, Heritage, Tribal culture, Handicrafts, Wellness and Mindful Tourism and many more things to explore and experience. The State has also developed Home Stay, Gram Stay and Farm Stay schemes so that tourists can stay and experience rural culture and traditions of the State. We are creating new opportunities and initiatives to promote the state and its rich cultural, natural and architectural heritage and its traditions and history. Madhya Pradesh Government has identified tourism as one of the leading sectors for developments and aims to promote MP as an attractive destination for both domestic and international travellers. There is a sustained focus on infrastructure development, restoration of heritage sites, development of natural reserves and biodiversity, promotion of sustainable and responsible tourism as well as rural tourism.”