Himachal Pradesh bringing new colors in the tourism industry

May 02, 2011 9:52 | Tourism

 Himachal Pradesh bringing new colors in the tourism industry.

Growth in the tourism sector is seen in the last 4 years


Himachal Pradesh has emerged as one of the most sought after tourism destinations on the world map. The State Government has chalked out a three - pronged strategy to harness the tourist potential to the maximum. As a part of the strategy, the government on one hand is focusing upon development of various tourist circuits, strengthening the infrastructure and long term planning whereas on other hand launching schemes to cater to tourists of all classes and categories. Adventure tourism, religious tourism, heritage tourism, rural tourism and eco- tourism are some of the areas which have got special attention in tourism development. Employment generation and income to the State exchequer has been given special impetus under the strategy. Schemes benefiting unemployed rural youth have been launched.


To harness the tourism potential of the State, a 20 year master plan is being prepared for integrated development of tourism in the State.  For further strengthening the tourism infrastructure in the State, the State Government has succeeded in getting financial assistance of 95.16 million American dollars from Asian Development Bank. A Hotel Management Institute at Hamirpur at a cost of Rs.12 crore has been set up whereas construction work of a Food Craft Institute at Dharamshala is under progress.


 'Home Stay Scheme' launched in the year 2008 is already a grand success. The scheme focuses on rural tourism to generate employment, income and promote new destinations by exhibiting ancient heritage and culture of the State. Till date,291 home stay units have been registered in the State.


State Government has launched a scheme known as 'Har Gaon Ki Kahani' to promote rural tourism with a view to exploit tourism potential of non-descript destinations of the State. This novel scheme aims at developing villages of historic importance as tourism villages by providing basic amenities which will acquaint the tourists about the rustic life of the hill State. In order to enlighten the tourists about the bygone golden epoch of the historic Shimla town, Shimla Heritage Tourism scheme 'Har Ghar Kuch Kehta Hai' and 'Shimla Ki Kahani Itihas Ki Jubani' were launched.


Event based tourism promotion activities are also being undertaken by the Tourism department to capture the attention of tourists round the year. Events like Trekking, Mountain Biking and Para-gliding were organized for adventure lovers. The Department of Tourism & Civil Aviation organized a Road-Show-cum-Tourism Event at New Delhi under the brand 'Unforgettable Himachal' in order to promote the tourism in the State.


State Government is also popularising the concept of Health Tourism by developing health resorts and ‘Panchkarma’ to cure a number of incurable ailments. Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) is offering ayurvedic therapy ‘Panchkarma’ in Hotel Holiday Home, Shimla, Hotel Tea Bud, Palampur and Palace Hotel, Chail. 12 more Panchkarma centres are being opened in different parts of the state. The sector holds vast employment and self employment prospects which could help youth in starting lucrative ventures.


With a view to give boost to eco-tourism in the State, ecotourism Policy was formulated in 2001 by the Government. The main objective of it was to bring the tourists closer to nature and ensure adequate economic returns to the State and livelihood opportunities to the local communities. Eco-tourism circuits are being created in Kullu, Shimla, Kinnaur and Bilaspur districts. Ecotourism circuits to be created are Kothi, Kasol, Pulga, Shojha, Paneo, Takrasi and Sarahan in Kullu district, Mandi, Larot, Dodra, Kawar, Jakha and Jiskoon in Shimla district, Sholtu, Purbani, Sangla and Shongtong in Kinnaur district, Nainadevi in Bilaspur district.  


All these efforts of the State Government would certainly bring about quality transformation in the tourism infrastructure besides attracting more tourists to the State.