NEW DELHI: The government is looking at engaging private players for the upkeep of tourist destinations and monuments under the public-private partnership model. The move will help not only save money, but also lead to better management of the tourist hotspots and monuments.
Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma said here on Monday, “We have received suggestions on maintenance of tourist places with the help of private players... we may engage reputed private houses for services like cleaning, restaurant and book shop management.”
Sources said the government was also working on a proposal to involve private players in the maintenance of ticketed monuments. Currently, there are over 100 ticketed monuments in the country under the management of the Archaeological Survey of India. The government wants to make entry tickets to these monuments available online.
The minister also launched also a round-the-clock tourist helpline in 12 languages - Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, English and Hindi. The ‘Infoline’ has been launched particularly for foreign tourists so that they can seek help when they want to know anything about a place or have a complaint to register. Sharma said, “They will have access to information in their own language and help in case of distress.” They can either use the toll-free tourist Infoline 1800111363 or the short code 1363.This project is being implemented by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India through TATA BSS who have been associated with the work after an open bidding process. Sharma also announced that his ministry will soon launch an “Incredible India Mobile App” to serve tourists better.