President Pratibha Patil on Wednesday gave away national tourism award to Himachal Pradesh, a state located in the foothills of the Himalayas.
Arun Sharma, Director of Tourism of Himachal, who received the award along with Principal Secretary Tourism Manisha Nanda at a function held in Vigyan Bhawan here in the presence of Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahay, said that the hill state had been honoured with the top prize for excellent tourism publicity material.
Tourism is the mainstay of Himachal, contributing 10% of its GDP. Over 1.5 crore tourists, both foreign and from within the country, had arrived in the state in 2011, which is almost double the 80 lakh population of the state.
He said that the state government had taken several steps under the guidance of chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal to boost tourism in the state.
State tourism department has brought out a coffee table book "Har ghar kuchh kehta", which narrates historical anecdotes associated with the summer capital of the British empire, said Sharma, who has authored the book.
HP is the first state in the country to launch an electronic brochure, he added.