With poor roads still plaguing the state, the Tourism Development Board proposed to create tourist hubs to give impetus to sluggish tourism industry finding it difficult to compete with other tourist states.
“Tourism is the largest and fastest growing industry in the world, though India's participation is small. We are lucky to have immense tourism potential in the state, but we have limitations,” said Major Vijai Singh Mankotia, vice-chairmen of the Tourism Development Board.
Mankotia in first-ever media interaction after his appointment as vice-chairman of the board candidly admitted that poor conditions of roads in the state are hurting the tourism industry. “There is a lack of the infrastructure and all the bad roads are nightmares for the visitors - all these reasons have hampered the growth of tourism industry in Himachal Pradesh,” said he.
Mankotia also laid focus on developing the alternate transport system for Shimla and Dharamsala.
Mankotia outrightly blamed the Centre for ignoring the tourism sector in Himachal Pradesh.
”Despite having all the potential we are handicapped. The central government has an indifferent attitude for all the plans to boost tourism in the state,” said he.
Rolling out his plan, Mankotia said that Tourism Development Board had drawn a road map to create what he mentioned the 'tourist hubs in the state.'
“Civic amenities in the tourist towns are not keeping up pace with the growth in number of tourists,” said he.
“There was proposal to create tourist hub at Rajgarh in Sirmour district, Chansal and Larot in Rohru, said he.
Plans were afoot to create tourist hubs at Barot and Jatingiri in Mandi and Bir-Billing in Kangra district. Further, he sought more public participation to promote tourism in the state.