Gujarat Global News Network, Ahmedabad
The Gujarat Government announced a new tourism policy which gives tourism status of industry. Announcing the five year policy for 2015-2020 Tourism Minister, Saurabh Patel said that it is to make Gujarat among first five tourism destinations in the country by 2025.
Releasing the policy on Sunday, World Tourism Day, Saurabh Patel said that besides making Gujarat a top level tourist destination, the policy will generate huge employment opportunities. Industry status to tourism will help create infrastructure in Gujarat for which the government has come out with several tax incentives.
New projects and major expansion projects will qualify for the incentives of the Tourism policy, he said. Investments of over Rs 50 crore will get admissible subsidy of 15 per cent with a maximum limit of Rs 10 crore.
The government has announced 100 per cent reimbursement on stamp duty, while exemption has been given for luxury tax, entertainment tax and electricity duty. The minister also announced capital subsidy for tourism sector.
In the policy document, the State Government quoted World Travel and Tourism Council data projecting total investment potential in Gujarat to the tune of $4 billion (approx Rs 26,000 crore) by 2025 with an employment potential of 3 million people and 5 per cent contribution to GDP.
With the latest policy, the government aims to attract MICE segment (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions), encourage innovative forms of tourism such as adventure, cruise, event-based, inlannd waterways, medical among others.
The government also aims to provide tourism infrastructure in terms of tourist information, transport services, accommodation and way-side amenities, with enhanced use of ICT in the sector and create enabling framework for public-private partnerships in developing tourism products, projects and services.
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