With a special focus on attracting new investments in the state’s “high priority tourism centres” by offering lucrative incentives, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani Tuesday declared its new tourism policy for 2021-2025.
“We want to give more importance on tourism this time, and tourism of world class. And I am confident that with this policy, Gujarat will be a global choice for tourism,” Rupani said. He added that he wanted amusement parks, like Disneyland, to come to Gujarat.
The new policy, he said, promises special incentives on large-scale tourism projects while aiming to introduce new avenues like caravan tourism, MICE (meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions) tourism and rural-based experience tourism. Incentives for setting up tourism projects in the state will be applicable to only those projects that come up in the high priority tourism centres identified across 25 districts of the state under the policy, the CM added.
The entire districts of Kutch, Dwarka, Narmada, Gir-Somnath, Porbandar, Junagadh and Dang have been earmarked as high priority centres. In the remaining districts, some talukas have been earmarked as the priority centres.
“In the previous tourism policy, there was a cap of Rs 50 crore for getting 15 per cent subsidy of Rs 7.5 crore. In this policy, we have removed that cap. We want to give incentives with this open policy,” Rupani said.
As per the latest policy, 15 per cent capital subsidy will be given for setting up world-class theme or amusement parks with capital investment ranging from Rs 50 crore to Rs 500 crore. “In case of capital investment of more than Rs 500 crore for setting up a new project, 15 per cent of the eligible capital investment, and if required, land on lease will be provided by the state government,” the policy states. While considering the incentives under the new policy, land prices will not be considered.
Rupani also said the state government wanted big convention centres to be set up in Gujarat to promote MICE tourism and, therefore, convention centres having at least one hall that can accommodate 2,500 people will be given incentives. Fifteen per cent of the total investment for setting up a convention centre will be given as an incentive along with land on lease by the state government, if so required, he added.
Entrepreneurs who start caravan tourism in Gujarat will be given maximum subsidy of Rs 10 lakh, the policy states. For setting up tented/container accommodation at the priority centres, subsidy of 15 per cent of the eligible capital investment will be given. For boosting adventure tourism, 15 per cent subsidy of the total eligible cost up to Rs 15 lakh will be provided to buy adventure tourism equipment, it states.
Similarly, to promote river cruise tourism, capital subsidy of 15 per cent of the eligible capital investment up to Rs 25 lakh for purchasing sailing infrastructure.
To promote MICE tourism, the policy also promises assistance of Rs 5,000 per foreign participant for overnight stay with a maximum assistance up to Rs 5 lakh per international event. For domestic events, the limit will be Rs 2 lakh, with a cap of three events per organiser per year.
For organising rural tourism fairs showcasing indigenous culture, dance, handloom, handicrafts etc, the organiser will get assistance of Rs 5 lakh per year per fair.
For pollution-free development of tourism in the identified centres, the government will also provide 15 per cent subsidy up to Rs 2 lakh to buy e-vehicles. And for development of public charging stations, 25 per cent capital subsidy will be provided.
The policy also promises Rs 4,000 monthly assistance for six months to hotels/resorts to appoint tourism guides. To increase foreign tourist footfall, tourists will also be provided e-vouchers and Gujarat Tourism Card, the new policy states.