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April 27, 2015

Assam Tourism to Develop Niche Tourism Products on PPP Mode

To appoint Transaction Advisor to chart out PPP for star resorts, river cruises, and Golf Tourism


27 April 2015

P Krishna Kumar, New Delhi: Assam Tourism is planning development of niche tourism products with the support of private investors in the state. The areas where the government is planning this development include star resorts and wayside amenities, river cruises, and Golf Tourism. According to V S Bhaskar, Additional Chief Secretary – Tourism & Transport Development, Government of Assam, the state government has already floated Expression of Interest (EoI) for appointment of a Transaction Advisor for working out a transparent Public-Private Partnership (PPP) system. “The Transaction Advisor will help us with the Request For Proposal (RFP) for private parties to come and invest in these niche products,” he added.

Speaking on the sidelines of a tourism conference organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), as part of the Global Exhibition on Services (GES) in Delhi, Bhaskar said that the government wants to involve private investors through an open and transparent system. Issues and challenges related with tourism are similar everywhere, and tourism cannot prosper without the involvement of the private sector, he opined.

Talking about the star resorts and wayside amenities, Bhaskar said that the state government wants to “scale up” Assam Tourism-owned lodges with the involvement of private investors as well as establish facilities at important tourist destinations. With regard to river cruises, he said that Assam has about 896 km of Brahmaputra flowing through the state, which is ideal for Cruise Tourism. As far as Golf Tourism is concerned, the official said that the government will extend help and support to individuals or companies who come forward to develop a golf course in the state or promote Golf Tourism.

About the increase in tourist footfalls to the state, Bhaskar said that Assam has registered a four-fold increase in domestic footfalls over the last decade. About 4.5 million domestic tourists visited Assam last year, compared with one million, ten years ago. “With the development of niche products, we expect more growth in foreign tourist visitations as well in the coming years,” he added.