Statue of Unity received more visitors than Taj Mahal: Gujarat CM

While unveiling the new Tourism Policy 2021-25, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani on Tuesday said the Statue of Unity (SoU) at Kevadiya received more visitors than the Taj Mahal in Agra.

The new policy aims to develop specific areas in the state. Similar to the concept in the West, the government also wants to develop caravan and beach tourism like in Goa.

Addressing the media, the Gujarat CM said, “We want to boost the service sector industry by developing the tourism infrastructure in the state. In the latest tourism policy we have stressed more on developing specific focused areas like we have developed the SoU site at Kevadiya. The SoU has received overwhelming response from tourists as it receives more visitors than the famous Taj Mahal.”

The state government will be giving incentives to tourism development projects in focused areas.

In the new policy, a provision has been made for a minimum Rs 1 crore investment and 20 per cent incentive for it, though there is no limit on maximum investment. In the previous tourism policy, there was a cap of Rs 50 crore investment and 15 per cent subsidy on investment in new hotels, resorts, amusement parks, theme parks and water parks.

“If the investment is more than Rs 500 crore, we will give 20 per cent incentive on that,” Rupani added.

The new policy also wants to incentivise amusement parks, water parks and theme parks where Rs 50 crore would be considered the minimum investment and 15 per cent subsidy would be given for investment in the range of Rs 50 crore to Rs 500 crore.

The state government wants to push projects yielding large investments and for that amusement park projects with more than Rs 500 crore investment would be given land on lease on top of the 15 per cent subsidy. The 15 per cent subsidy would also be given to resorts and the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare Providers (NABH) accredited wellness resorts.

The Gujarat government wants to have large convention halls in the state. “We want more convention centres with capacity as much as 5,000 or 10,000.”

“We will be giving incentives to convention centres with minimum 2,500 sitting capacity where 15 per cent incentive on investment will be given,” Rupani added.

“We want to start caravan tourism in Gujarat where tourists can form caravans and travel across the state. The government will offer 15 per cent subsidy on Rs 10 lakh investment in the caravan tourism industry,” said Rupani.

According to the policy, in tented accommodation in specific focused areas, investment worth more than Rs 50 lakh would be given 15 per cent incentive. For adventure and sports tourism, instead of the current requirement of Rs 1 crore investment and 10 per cent incentive, there would be 15 per cent incentive.

The policy also gives 15 per cent subsidy for e-vehicles such as battery operated two-wheelers, three-wheelers, four-wheelers, electric taxis, registered locally in focused areas to be developed by the government.

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