|The tourism industry is widely regarded as having the ability to generate high levels of economic output with relatively lesser levels of capital investment.|
The potential and benefits of the tourism sector become more relevant especially for developing economies like India, where capital availability is scarce and need for economic and employment generation activity is high. With a mere 0.4% share of international tourist arrivals and a large volume of domestic travellers – mainly in the religion/ pilgrimage segment – the sector still accounts for 5.6% of GDP while providing direct employment to 20 million people. However, compared to global averages, the industry has not scaled up to its full potential. Geographical smaller countries have managed successfully to generate much higher levels of revenue from this industry . This is borne out by the fact that globally, the industry contributes approximately 11.6% to the GDP.
Delhi, the capital of India, has its origin from 1450 B.C. and has been in continuous existence for over a thousand years now. It is a site of many historic capital cities, traces of ten of which survive even today. The city is significant for the role it has played throughout history, having been the centre of an empire for the majority of this millennium. It is an important city in the Indian subcontinent and comparisons have often been made to other great cities of the world. However, very few cities carry with them, to such an extent, the weight of several layers of continuous history. In spite of this rich and diverse cultural heritage, Delhi is used only as a gateway for travelling to Jaipur, Agra and other cities of tourist interest. Though, Delhi has the highest number of tourist arrivals, it is only used as entry point to the country.
Delhi being National Capital Territory, receives 62% of foreign travellers and NRI visiting India. There has been no concerted effort to project Delhi as a Tourism Destination, with attractions to provide the visitors 2 – 3 night stays. There is an emergent need to make Delhi a historical city, a convention center, environmental and eco friendly destination and cultural destination and to spread awareness among tourists as well as its citizens regarding its glorious past. To achieve above goals, there is a need to develop the basic infrastructure, accessibility to the tourist destination, local facilities and identification of thrust areas of tourism promotion. The schemes, which are to be taken up under the major head, “TOURISM INFRASTRUCTURE” are as under:
1. Water Sports Tourism Complex at Bhalswa
Delhi Tourism is in possession of Bhalswa Lake Over the past decade; Delhi Tourism has developed facilities for outdoor leisure by undertaking water sports and allied activities in the lake. Such recreational activities have added to the civic life of capital. Recreational-boating through pedal boats, hovercraft, water scooter, shikara and sports boats like kayaking, canoeing and rowing has already been introduced by the Corporation. In the recent past DTTDC has constructed an earthen bandh around the lake and fixed sluice gate between the lake and supplementary drain to maintain the water level in the lake. Indian Kayaking and Canoeing Association has given proposal to organize national and international level competition at this lake. At present the facilities for tourists/ visitors are very limited. DTTDC proposed to add some facilities like open shed, change room, water cooler for drinking water for visitors/tourists .
Besides, the Government of NCT of Delhi has a plan to develop this area as an integrated tourist complex by creating infrastructure facilities like water sports, golf course, amusement rides and various other adventure activities. It is an ambitious project and could be developed as a centre-point for sports lovers from all over the world.
2. Establishment of Wayside Amenities
At present, the arrival of foreign tourists in Delhi is approximately 13 lacs annually with the growth rate of 5% p.a. With the introduction of modern techniques of dissemination of tourists information identification of new destinations, better marketing and services, it is contemplated that growth rate shall be progressively stepped up and by the year 2008, number of tourists visiting Delhi shall be approx. 25 lacs. In addition, domestic tourists shall be double within the next five years.
In the present scenario, no wayside amenities are available at the national highways around the city. The nearest wayside amenities provided by the adjoining states are at a distance of 40 km or more from the entry point of Delhi. The Corporation is in possession of land measuring 2.08 acres at Delhi-Jaipur Road, National Highway No. 8. The Corporation has a plan to provide these amenities to the tourists and commuters through developing this site into a unique project.
The concept/ design of the project has been finalized. The construction work of the project will start soon. However, the boundary wall, earth work and boring of two tube wells, have been done.
3. Development of Dilli Haat type projects in different parts of Delhi.
The Corporation has set up a Dilli Haat at INA, Sri Aurobindindo Marg, which is an upgraded version of traditional part offering a delightful amalgam of craft, food and cultural activities with a major difference-while the Village haat is a mobile, flexible arrangements, here it is the craftsmen who are mobile and ever changing there by offering ponaramic view of the richness and diversity of Indian handicrafts and artifacts. The project has already won heritage and cultural award i.e. PATA gold awards.
In view of its wide success and in pursuance of govt. policy of promoting and preserving our immense heritage of human skills, the Corporation has decided to set up more Haats in the Capital. The Corporation is in the process of identifying the sites for the purpose. The DDA has been approached by DTTDC for identification of suitable sites to set up these projects.
One site measuring 7.2 acres at Pitampura near TV Tower has been allotted to DTTDC for this purpose.
4. Restoration of Denotified Monuments
Delhi, being a city of monuments consisting historical importance, rich heritage and religious tradition and culture, attracts a large flow of tourists towards it. There is a series of denotified monuments that have remained neglected, unknown and unvisited due to absence of proper maintenance, hygienic conditions, publicity and better accessibility. Since 1996, Delhi Tourism has undertaken the restoration of such denotified monuments through INTACH. A study has been conducted by INTACH in the area and identified over 80 monuments. The Corporation has restored 34 denotified monuments in Mehrauli area and the work at 4 more monuments is in full swing.
5. Refurbishment of monuments
Delhi being a city of monuments has rich cultural heritage and its glorious past. There is an emergent need to make aware the tourists visiting capital territory about these buildings/ monuments through wide publicity, more accessibility and providing infrastructure facilities like drinking water, public conveniences, food kiosks, telephone facilities, souvenir shop, tourists information counter, path ways, land scrapping, hark system etc.
6. Signage at monuments and other historical places for identification and awareness of tourists.
There is lack of information and awareness amongst the tourists and residents of Delhi for the cities with historic past. There are a large number of monuments in the Maurauli heritage area and other parts of the city that has tremendous historical significance but unveiled. In order to provide more detailed information on the rich architecture of the buildings, their historic importance and other aspects, DTTDC proposes installation of signage aesthetically designed at these monuments. Department of tourism, Government of India has sanctioned a scheme for installation of signage at monuments/ historical buildings in Delhi.
7. Accessibility to destination through trail etc.
Integrated conservation and landscape development of Mehrauli is a project that attempts to consolidate the scattered ruins of the settlement into a comprehensive scheme to preserve the monuments and potential archaeological sites and provide the city populace with a meaningful, multifaceted recreation space following the image of an ideal ‘City Forest’. The management of the natural and historic environment being the prime objectives, the proposal aims at developing a series of pathways for access and maintenance, suitably treated to uphold historic authenticity and serving to heighten the perception of the complex natural setting for an enhanced interpretation of the site. With the stretch around the Jamali Kamali being the present focus and scope of the project, the process once initiated would go for a long way to reintegrate the historic area through positive intervention with the socio-cultural and economic processes of the city so as to make it an active part of the system, imparting it a new relevance within the contemporary scenario.
8. Illumination of Monuments
Many tourists are visiting Delhi from India and abroad. There is much to see during daytime but hardly any thing for the evenings. To enhance the beauty of Delhi during evenings proposed to illuminate the ancient monuments, which are visible from the roads while driving.
9. Development of Lakes
In spite of having more than 30 big ancient lakes, Delhi does not offer sufficient outdoor leisure facilities for tourists and its residents, as most of the lakes have been disappeared due to change in use of land and non-retention of water. Delhi, acrossing range of Aravali hills, particularly in Mehrauli area of South Delhi had underground water level at 50 feet. Now, the water level has drastically gone down to 200 feet deep, which is not only disastrous from agricultural point of view but also for tourism potential. Water bodies with recreational facilities provide ample attraction to the tourists. These facilities have added to the civic life of capital. For the purpose, infrastructure for various types of amusement could also be developed on the embankment of the lakes. There is an emergent need for development, preservation and maintenance of existing water bodies to beautify the city and to keep it at par with the other major cities of the world and to cater to the widening demands.
Recently Delhi Tourism has taken over the possession of Sanjay Lake at Mayur Vihar and Shahdara Lake for recreational water sports activities through Boats, water scooter, Jetty, Shikara, bungee jumping, etc. the Hovercraft facilities at Sanjay Lake & Bhalaswa Lake are also being considered and battery operated eco-friendly boats at Nazafgarh drain at Chhawla and Kanganheri .
Setting up of soft adventure park with Bungee Tower at Sanjay Lake – Trans Yamuna Area
Sanjay lake is one of the biggest lake of Delhi and is abound 2.5 k.m. long. The lake is mainly rain fed. leisure boating activities at Sanjay Lake are available since September 2004. There is a huge scope for setting up of soft adventure park at Sanjay lake consisting of obstacle courses, spider web, tarzan rope, Burma bridge, trampoline, zapping. The area has scope for construction of high bungee tower made of concrete structure. It is also proposed to construct a restaurant at the top of Bungee tower. This Bungee tower will also support an artificial rock climbing wall.
Soft adventure park at Purana Quila
Purana Quila is situated at main Mehrauli Road and is surrounded by important land marks of Delhi like Delhi Zoo and Trade Fair ground. Leisure boating activity at Purana Quila and is also provided and it is proposed to develop soft adventure park in the land around Purana Quila .
10. Development of Coffee Homes in different parts of Delhi.
Coffee Homes at Connaught Place, Laxmi Nagar, R.K. Puram and Ajmal Khan Park were set up to provide clean hygenic wholesome food to Delhi ties/visitors at reasonable rates.These coffee homes have become very popular and propose to extend these facilities in other parts of the city.
11. Installation of Sport Climbing Wall
Delhi, being an urban city, the government has more emphasis to spread awareness through education in all spheres of life like social economical political, technical, to educate every citizen of the city. Besides, tourism and its various streams like Adventure Tourism has become an important activity to promote tourism potential, revenue generation, and employment generation among the youth of Delhi. To promote the adventure activities, DTTDC intends to install four Rock Climbing
Walls atleast in four corners to the city to facilitate the students and youth during 10th five-year plan. Recently, DTTDC has set up an artificial (Fibre) Rock Climbing Wall at Azad Hind Gram. It has been observed that small school children a slightly scared to climb the Fibre Rock Climbing Wall. It is proposed to put up two inflated Rock Climbing Wall at Azad Hind Gram specially for small children. These walls can also be carried out for demonstration to various schools of Delhi.
12. Setting up of Night Bazaar
The life at National Capital Territory has become more and more busier day by day. The Delhites have no time of amusement, entertainment and to cater the daily needs as per demand of progressive living standard. Moreover, the tourists visiting the city stay two or three nights in Delhi as they use this city only as an entry point to the country by them. To facilities these visitors, DTTDC intends to set up Night Bazaar in Delhi to keep Delhi at par with the world’s most popular cities.
Delhi Tourism proposes to organize Night Bazaar on the corridors of the State Emporiums commencing from Gram Ship Emporium up to Phulkaari Emporium at Baba Kharak Singh Marg. Bazaar is proposed to be organzed on weekends instead of weekdays. The timing of the Bazaar will be from 8.00 P.M. to 04.00 A.M. The objective for holding Bazaar is to showcase the rich art, culture and heritage of India and to provide quality leisure time to the tourists (foreign as well as domestic) and Delhities along with the shopping experience. It has been proposed to have stalls of easily dismantable items such as, Octonorm exhibition panels or fabric walls. Stalls shall display Handloom and Handicraft items, souvenir, Boutiques, books on culture and heritage of India etc. Toys, traditional/ ethnic jewellery, Indian food especially from Walled City, Puppet show, Magic show, classical music and dance performances and performance of folklore of India etc.
13. Consultancy of tourism projects Tourism Research and Development
Many agencies are involved in promoting tourism in city through its various roles. The thrust areas of tourism potential are identified for establishment of tourism projects. Due to lack ness at various corners, these projects have not attained success at requisite level. Therefore, the proficiency and technical expertise are required while identifying the thrust areas and conducting techno-feasibility study of the tourism projects.
14. IT APPLICTION
The potential of Information Technology for promotion of the tourism is only limited by the imagination. The world is in the midst of an Information and Technological revolution and the opportunities for the Government are enormous. it is not enough to simply automate their current ways of doing business. With the new tools of a networked society, Delhi Tourism is rethinking and engineering its IT infrastructure. By taking full advantage of the information revolution, we can both provide better services to the tourists and use our unique position to promote competition and innovation-thus improving the quality of services for the tourists. Delhi Tourism may like to produce more information material on the electronic media such as interactive, theme based and Virtual walkthrough based CDs. Besides Delhi Tourism may like to extend and expand the computer networks by way of new technology and software systems. The frontiers of Internet are to be explored further for better information dissemination and facilitation.
15. Chhawla & Kanganheri Project
The Corporation identified two sites measuring 2.77 and 11.44 acres at Chhawla and Kanganheri on Najafgarh Drain respectively for setting up of Adventure Sports Complex and Eco Park with leisure facilities. Memorandum of Understanding is being finalised with Irrigation and Flood Department to transfer the land to DTTDC. The preparation of concept/design of the project is under process and soon after the approval of GNCTD. the project may go ahead with the preliminary work like Development of site and other services i.e. construction of boundary wall, earth work, levelling and dressing of site etc.
16. Adventure Park at Azad Hind Gram
DTTDC owns around six acres of land on National Highway No. 10 at Tikri Kalan on Rohtak Road before Bahadurgarh Border. DTTDC has already set up a museum and smark on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose at Azad Hind Gram. Public convenience, snack bar, restaurant, banquet facilities are already in existence in this complex.The process of setting up an artificial rock climbing wall is already completed. In the remaining portion of this complex, DTTDC plans to set up a permanent adventure park where tourist would be given courses in soft and hard adventure. The tourist will also be provided with night stay after completion of their soft and hard adventure games.