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Wednesday, 22 November, 2017, 17 : 00 PM [IST]

Assam Tourism to lease out hospitality units to private hoteliers

State Tourism to focus beyond Wildlife Tourism and Kaziranga
Assam Tourism as part of improving the tourism infrastructure and involving private industry more actively in the management of tourism services will be leasing out all their hospitality units to private hoteliers. According to Jayanta Malla Baruah, Chairman, Assam Tourism Development Corporation Ltd., all the 80 hotels managed by the Corporation will be handed over to private industry to maintain and manage on long lease of 30 years. “Cabinet has given the approval for this. The tender process for the same has already begun and we have started receiving offers from large hotel companies already,” Baruah said. He was here in Delhi to receive the WTTC-II Hotelivate Award for Best Policy & Leadership Award in the Tourism sector for the State.

He said that the State government’s new tourism policy announced in mid October has great thrust on new investments in the tourism sector. Similarly, the Film Tourism Policy of the government has also been appreciated by everyone because of exciting incentives involved in it. “The State government is looking at tourism in an aggressive way. So far we have been stressing largely on Wildlife tourism and Kaziranga. We are looking at diversifying the tourism offerings by exploiting the potential in river tourism, homestay tourism, heritage tourism, religious tourism including Buddhist tourism, etc.,” he informed.

Talking about the incentives for investors, ATDC Chairman said that the new tourism policy has interesting incentives like 30% subsidy on capital infrastructure including hotels, 75% subsidy on road construction, 25% on power, etc.

Another niche area where the Tourism Board is planning to work and promote are Tea Tourism and Golf Tourism. “There are at least 25 quality golf courses of British era in Assam. This potential is not yet tapped,” he said. The Tourism Board has tied up with Bengal Chamber of Commerce to start an annual Golf Tournament from this year.
When asked about the connectivity issues, Baruah said that Guwahati is well connected by air with more than 80 flights operating in and of the city daily. The Udaan scheme of the government is expected to open new stations within the state. The State government’s own Assam Aviation Service will be opening many heliports to connect remote areas with Guwahati, he said.
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