SATTE 2021: With Infra boost for tourism, Madhya Pradesh pitches as India’s emerging MICE, royal wedding’s hub

by Joseph K. Clark

The 28th edition of South Asia’s Travel & Tourism Exchange, or SATTE 2021, concluded in Greater Noida’s India Expo Mart. It witnessed participation from all the major travel stakeholders from India and abroad. The three-day event saw partnerships and announcements that indicated the 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/organizations also promoted 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, talked about the State’s potential as a MICE destination in India in conversation with the Financial Express Online. “Madhya Pradesh is coming up as a MICE hub. I am thrilled 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. 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.

Madhya Pradesh

“Slowly, we are coming up in the MICE sector also. We are just waiting for the situation to normalize. Many companies from the pharmaceutical sector and other firms in Indore and nearby places and some companies from Gujarat, as it is very close to us, appreciate the infrastructure development in Madhya Pradesh. So we have great hope that MICE tourism will do very well 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 traveler completes his golden triangle visit in Agra, 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, including one wildlife site, one heritage site, and one historical/religious place.

“Orchha ” 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 dept 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. Still, such theme weddings can also occur in Madhya Pradesh and places like Orchha, Gwalior, Khajuraho, and Mandu, where we have sufficient accommodation. 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 hope to promote places like Orchha, Khajuraho, etc., as wedding destinations,” Yuvraj Padole told Financial Express Online.

Pitching Madhya Pradesh as one of the most exciting tourist destinations in the country, Padole said that the State has immense potential for inbound tourism growth. “Madhya Pradesh is a versatile State having a 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 the rural culture and traditions of the State. We are creating new opportunities and initiatives to promote the State’s richrichtural, natural, and architectural heritage an its rules and history. Madhya Pradesh Government has identified tourism as one of the leading sectors for development and aims to promote MP as an attractive destination for domestic and international travelers. There is a sustained focus on infrastructure development, restoration of heritage sites, development of nature reserves and biodiversity, promotion of sustainable and responsible tourism, and rural tourism.”

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