Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh on Saturday invited private investment in the hospitality industry, which is contributing 9.75 percent to the state gross domestic product.
"We are keen to develop a new airport near Shimla," he said, adding that the process to identify a site near Kandaghat in Solan district is underway.
Besides, the state is keen to develop helipads in far-flung areas to start a heli-taxi service in the private sector.
Addressing members of the hospitality industry here on World Tourism Day, the chief minister said the hotel units being set up in tribal areas are exempted from luxury tax for 10 years. A similar concession has also been extended to the tourism units coming up in rural areas.
The home-units in rural areas are also exempted from payment of luxury tax for five years.
For upgradation of tourist infrastructure,a Rs 600-crore project funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) is being implemented, the chief minister said.
Apart from this, he said, Lahaul-Spiti and Kinnaur districts would be developed as tourist destinations with the technical assistance of the World Bank.
To check fleecing of tourists, he said special police personnel would be deployed in major tourist destinations.