Does tourism bet on public-private partnerships?

A lot gets much easier with governmental support and help 

A buoyant economy with a sagging tourism sector is something unheard of. The government of India has been initiating plans and schemes to ensure proactive development in the tourism sector.

The government has been building new hotels, tourist attractions to retaining old world charm of ancient monuments and traditional tourism hotspots. It is adopting the tried and tested public private partnership (PPP) model for growth in the sector.

According to a recent ASSOCHAM report, more than 480 investment projects are currently underway in the PPP model for various sectors including tourism. Being a human resource centric industry, the state governments are also promoting the use of PPP model for tourism growth.

PPP model a win-win situation:

The public private partnership model offers a win-win situation for just about everyone. The state and central governments could hope to end various tourism related projects in a short span of time by bringing private entities on board.  The sooner the project gets operational the better it is for revenue generation for the government.  As a tourist, India which was notorious in tourism development project delays is now slowly emerging as a good example of how PPP model is boosting the infrastructural and tourism segments across the country.

Expect more good news this budget session:

If the success of the PPP model in various tourism based projects was not enough, the sector may get a financial boost this budget session. The ministry of tourism is seeking Rs 3,000 crore in the upcoming Union Budget 2015-16. There are also calls by various experts that the government may adopt a reverse BOT measure to ensure that the investment demand sustains its momentum.

Popular PPP Models enhancing tourism:

Here are some of the popular projects based on the PPP models adopted by various states that are working to enhance the tourism potential across India:

1: Shirdi airport construction in Maharashtra:

Shirdi is one of the most popular religious centers in Maharashtra. The city attracts huge domestic and international tourists every year. The lack of completion of the airport project in the city has made the Maharashtra government adopt the PPP model to make sure the city has an operational airport. Maharashtra Airport Development Corporation (MADC) along with private players will be co-developing the airport and offer a ‘state of the art’ airport for the religious city.

2: Development of Tijara Fort in Rajasthan: The PPP between a private hospitality company and the government of Rajasthan has paved the way for the prestigious Tijara Fort project. The fort has been renovated virtually from dead rubble making the project unique and a successful case for future public private partnership model in India. Tijara Fort now will be the first hotel in the state that would be an art lover's oasis offering the very best of luxury, architectural marvels and hospitality to drool over.

3: Cruise ships between ports by Kerala Tourism:

The ports of Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode will soon be connected with cruise ships. This would turn such places a tourist’s delight in Kerala. The project based on the Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model has been given a go ahead after bringing on board a private Dubai-based private investor. A 130-seater cruise ship which could travel at a speed of 30 knots is likely to be commissioned for the project soon.

4: Tourist Infrastructure development projects across Goa:

The government of Goa is exploring ways to make sure the state retains its place as the top tourist center in India. There are talks to undertake adventure sports hub developed jointly by private players and the state government under the PPP model. Many infrastructural development works are already underway using the PPP model bringing good success to the tourism sector of the state.

Tourism is one of the priority sectors for the central government and the impetus to the PPP model underlines the strategy of the government.

Do you think public-private partnerships in tourism sector will bode well for the sector? Do share your views.


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