National Parks are set to reopen in Madhya Pradesh as the government decided to further ease the lockdown. The national parks in the state will be reopend from domestic travellers, in a bid to move towards normalcy in a phased manner as per the MHA guidelines.
The state forest department has issued a circular regarding reopening of National Parks from June 15, and the parks' buffer zone will remain open during monsoon season, Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board said in a statement.
The state government has reopened its Tourism Development Corporation hotels, resorts and many private properties at tourist destinations.
"Our promotions for inbound tourism are very strong and wildlife is one of our most attractive products. Opening up tourist attractions would also give a sense of returning to normalcy.
"We see great potential after re-opening our destinations like wildlife, heritage, pilgrimage, leisure and adventure tourism opportunities," MPTB Additional Managing Director Sonia Meena said.
Following the health protection, safety and hygiene instructions, the tourism board have sanitised and fumigated the premises of tourist destinations in line with the guidelines given by the Ministry of Home Affairs, she said, adding "we are also maintaining all hygiene and social-distancing norms and SOP issued by the Ministry of Tourism".
"The first segment of the travellers we are looking to attract are people from within and the neighbouring states," she said.
Madhya Pradesh is surrounded by five states and it is very easy to travel by car from those states, Meena noted.
"Initially, we expect people to start taking small or weekend trips of 3-4 days itinerary and for them, our state has several attractive destinations," she said.
The tourism sector had come to a complete standstill after COVID-19-induced nationwide lockdown, which is being eased in a phased manner in many states.
Besides Madhya Pradesh, states like Rajasthan has reopened tourist destinations for domestic visitors, while Uttrakhand allowed limited destinations for tourists in the state's green zones.
Many other states, including Karnataka, Kerala, and Uttar Pradesh, are also taking steps to reopen doors for their tourist attractions for domestic tourists.
(With inputs from PTI)