Luxebook July 2023

What circuits are being developed by the government currently? Rajasthan tourism has developed two more circuits for domestic and foreign travel.The first circuit has been developed keeping in mind religious tourism. This circuit has been named ‘Sarva Dharma Sambhava - Religious Pilgrimage Circuit’. Under this circuit, pilgrimage sites, dargahs, gurudwaras and Jain temples are being renovated and developed in different districts of the state. The ‘Sarva Dharma Sambhav’ circuit has been developed connecting the districts of Jaipur, Ajmer, Sikar, Chittorgarh, Sawai Madhapur, Karuli, Mount Abu, Bhilwara and Jhalawar. On the other hand, ‘Shekhawati Circuit’ has been developed connecting Sikar and Jhunjhunu districts, and under this havelis of these two districts are being renovated, preserved and promoted. Would you say that the state has a natural inclination and hence developed logistics for tourism? Rajasthan has demonstrated a natural inclination towards tourism and has made significant efforts to develop logistics and infrastructure to support the industry. The state’s cultural heritage, scenic landscapes and proactive tourism initiatives make it an attractive destination for tourists. Over the years, the government of Rajasthan has recognized the potential of tourism as a major economic driver and has taken several initiatives to develop and promote the tourism sector. The state has established a well-organized tourism infrastructure, including hotels, resorts, guesthouses, and tourist information centres, to cater to the needs of visitors. Rajasthan has also developed a robust transportation network to facilitate travel within the state. There are wellconnected roadways, railways, and airports that ensure easy accessibility to various tourist destinations. The state government has invested in improving the condition of roads, expanding airport facilities, and enhancing railway connectivity to attract more tourists. Additionally, Rajasthan has implemented policies and programs to preserve its cultural heritage. Historical monuments, such as forts, palaces, and havelis have been restored and maintained to provide tourists a glimpse into the rich history of the region. The state organizes cultural festivals, such as the ‘Pushkar Fair’ and ‘Jaipur Literature Festival’, which further enhances the tourism experience. Furthermore, Rajasthan Tourism actively promotes the state through marketing campaigns, participation in travel fairs, and collaborations with travel agencies. Tell us about the different attractions for luxury travellers and experiences in Rajasthan? One of the most luxurious travel experiences in Rajasthan is the ‘Palace on Wheels’ train, the only luxury train in India. Rajasthan is the land of Maharajas and so, there are so many points of attraction for luxury travellers to experience their lifestyle and cuisine. Rajasthan has a wide range of hotels with international facilities. How is the tourism department attracting new visitors? Rajasthan Tourism is now shifting its focus to showcase ‘Beyond the Obvious’ to its visitors. The department is putting its efforts to create a brand new image that aims to highlight lesser-known destinations and unique experiences. One of the main objectives of this rebranding exercise is to encourage tourists to stay longer and explore more of Rajasthan’s hidden gems. Adventure Tourism, wellness tourism, wildlife safaris, desert camping, hot air ballooning, ziplining activities are now an integral part of Rajasthan’s new brand image. Development and promotion of various tourism circuits, such as the desert circuit, wildlife circuit, spiritual circuit and tribal circuit is being done to showcase the state’s diverse attractions, including wildlife sanctuaries, tribal villages and religious sites. How has granting industry status for the tourism and hospitality industry by the Rajasthan Government helped the state? Realizing the immense potential of the tourism industry in the state, the state government has granted ‘Industry Status’ to the Tourism & Hospitality sector in the budget 2022-23. This has since extended many fiscal incentives for the sector including tax exemptions, subsidies and financial assistance, which can lead to a reduction of up to 30% in electricity bills. Additionally, the urban development tax on industrial rates has been reduced, with a reduction of up to 80% in charges. The state government has also introduced various policies to provide ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in Rajasthan and also to boost investment opportunities in the state. Rajasthan Tourism Policy 2020, Rajasthan Film Tourism Promotion Policy 2022, Rajasthan Industrial Development Policy 2019, RIPS 2019, Guest House Scheme 2021, Rajasthan Eco Tourism Policy 2021 are all policies intended to make Rajasthan the most Investment friendly state by simplifying regulations, offering tax incentives, and streamlining the licensing process for tourism-related businesses. What are the reasons for the best international and Indian hotel chains preferring Rajasthan as their destination to enter the Indian market? Rajasthan has been the first state in India to give full industry status to the tourism and hospitality sector. Now, all work is being done under one roof through the single window system. All the necessary elements for tourism are present in Rajasthan, so international hotel chains want to register their presence in Rajasthan. Small towns are also making a distinct identity in the destination wedding sector. Lots of efforts to establish collaborations with UNWTO, WTTC, PATA and other important international bodies have been made.The State government collaborated with the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India to leverage multilateral tourism forums functioning under SAARC, ASEAN, IBSA, BRICS and others to promote tourism. What are the challenges faced by the government when it comes to tourism in the State? As the tourism industry in the state continues to grow, new challenges inevitably emerge. These challenges include the presence of unauthorized guides and touts who are neither accredited or trained by the Department. They cause distress and unease to tourists sometimes. Similarly, unscrupulous travel agencies, mostly mushrooming online in peak tourist season offering substandard or unauthenticated products or services or engaging in fraudulent activities also pose another challenge. To address this issue, Department has strengthened regulations and licensing requirements for travel agents and guides while monitoring on ground activities regularly in order to check these elements. So far, we have been able to deal with these problems very effectively. Not a single case of such malpractice which comes to our notice goes unattended, mostly to the satisfaction of the tourists. Ensuring safe and secure environment to the tourists is a high priority for the Department for which the department has adopted multi-pronged approach. These include setting up Tourism Police Stations in key cities, Jaipur, Udaipur and Jodhpur and deployment of Tourist Assistance Force (TAF) at popular tourist spots, installing CCTV cameras in key areas, and creating awareness through social media on safe travel practices. Malpractices and misconduct to the tourists has been made a cognizable offence through amendment in law. Through these regulatory measures, awareness campaigns, and enhanced security measures, Rajasthan Tourism strives to create a positive image and memorable trip for tourists visiting the state. The objective of the department is to establish Rajasthan as not only the most favoured destination but also the safest and most enjoyable destination in India. 10|LUXEBOOK|JULY 2023 JULY 2023 |LUXEBOOK|11