#CongregationsIndia: Revive MICE Activities; MP has Safety Protocols in Place –Minister Usha Thakur

Industry Watch | December 28, 2020 | News

Usha Thakur Madhya Pradesh Tourism Lubaina Sheerazi BRANDit Congregations India

Usha Thakur, Cabinet Minister - Tourism, Culture, Adhyatm, Government of Madhya Pradesh, spoke of promoting spiritual tourism to attract tourists to the State, during a session at the virtual ‘CONGREGATIONS INDIA: Government, Political, Sport & Religious Events Summit’ organised by EVENTFAQs Media on December 24, 2020. In conversation with session moderator Lubaina Sheerazi, CEO & Co-founder, BRANDit, Thakur asked people to shake off their fear and revive MICE activities again as safety protocols are in place.

“The State’s Anand Vibhag (Happiness Department) was merged into the new Adhyatmik Vibhag (Spiritual Department) to help promote positive and healthy lifestyle through Vedic practices during the COVID pandemic. With the prime motive of spreading happiness, we also organised the ‘Har Ghar Diwali’ campaign wherein we distributed essential goods in many areas,” said Thakur.

On various measures taken to reopen tourist places in MP, she said, “We have trained the officials on how to use the COVID SOPs released by the Government. We have also showcased the different tourist places in MP through 3D campaigns so that the people can travel through MP virtually from the comfort of their homes. This will help generate excitement among travellers to visit the same places as soon as they are open and safe to visit. We are promoting various rural areas through campaigns. As mentioned by our honourable PM, we are also looking forward to promoting spiritual tourism as it will help reduce the impact of COVID-induced lockdown on the travel and MICE industry.”

Large format events are still not advisable

Talking to Sheerazi about the scenario with regard to large format events and weddings, Thakur said, “Due to the pandemic, we are opting for smaller versions of large format events as we want to keep the traditions, but also follow all the safety protocols mandated by the Government.”

However, in an electoral democracy like ours, what could not be avoided were by-elections for 28 State Assembly constituencies in Madhya Pradesh, held on November 3, 2020, she said.

“At our recent Tourism Cabinet meeting with the Prime Minister, we discussed a separate department which will work on a special pilot project for infrastructure change which will take place with better roads and necessary services. Here, UNESCO along with local officials and our department will find out what better services can be provided to our tourists for a safe, clean and COVID-free environment,” added Thakur.

Thakur noted that Madhya Pradesh is blessed with culture, heritage, nature, spiritual and wildlife attractions and scope for adventure activities – be it Khajuraho or Sanchi stupa or Bhimbetka, or Bandhavgarh, Kanha or Pench. Tiger safaris, jyotirling darshan, shakti peeths are most popular among domestic and international tourists, Thakur said.

Relying on the Vedic tradition

Thakur, who believes in the Vedic tradition, said she would use the natural way of sanitizing the environment by sitting at the sacred fire (yagna) along with maintaining the necessary social distancing, and she had managed to do it in the midst of the pandemic. She also believes that by following spiritual and traditional methods, we will soon be able to become COVID-free and start with on-ground events.

Concluding the session, Thakur said, “Corporate event planners and others should be aware and shake off their fear and follow all the safety protocols to revive MICE and tourism activities again. The Madhya Pradesh Government is also providing monetary help and conducting motivational talks to help the industry, and people who are suffering, to revive it and come out strong in this pandemic.”

In conversation with Lubaina Sheerazi of BRANDit, Usha Thakur, Cabinet Minister - Tourism, Culture, Adhyatm, Madhya Pradesh said Vedic practices will make MP COVID-free, suitable for on-ground events.

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