The AAP government is toying with the idea of setting up a night safari in Delhi.
A draft tourism policy prepared by Delhi government also talks of developing 10 international level hangouts – apart from India Gate lawns and malls – and offering an airport welcome to tourists, quite like the practice in Gujarat and by some high-end hotels in the city.
The government may also explore the possibility of appointing a tourism ambassador to attract more people. The Arvind Kejriwal government’s 27-point programme also mentions conducting five international level cultural events annually, illuminating heritage buildings, developing water sports and linking places of religious importance to various circuits.
“The proposed night safari could be on the lines of similar experiments being tried out in Greater Noida or other city’s in Uttar Pradesh,” said an official.
A complete makeover of Delhi Zoo is alo being considered. Conversion of the now abandoned Town Hall of the municipal corporation into a heritage hotel may also be explored through public-private partnership, said sources.
An official said the renewed efforts to infuse life into the tourism sector is also linked to the Kejriwal government‘s commitment to generate one lakh jobs.Domestic travel and tourism sector is expected to be the second-largest employer globally by 2019, said the official, citing an old study conducted by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham).
Yamuna River Front development is also being considered to bring more tourism value to the dying water body, according to a Delhi government official. “The new international level festivals and cultural events being planned could be selected from the existing bunch of activities including the Mango Festival, Kite Festival, Theatre Festival and Food Festival,” said a Delhi Tourism official.
The Kejriwal government has already decided to hire an industry specialist instead of a bureaucrat to head Delhi Tourism, and invited applications from candidates.
According to Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra, “A big push in promoting Delhi as a tourism destination is in the offing.”
A landscaping master plan, aimed at enhancing the appeal of public areas and open spaces, is being given final touches to help add to the global appeal of the city, said an official.
A bio-diversity plan which shall improve the green cover and clean the city’s air is also being prepared. The plan envisages planting of 12 lakh saplings annually over the next five years.
Integration of various heritage walks and sound and light shows being conducted in the city at present would also be looked into, said an official.