In a bid to boost the sluggish tourism industry and attract the high-end tourists - the Himachal Pradesh government will now invite the big chain of hotels in the state. Tourism industry contributes 9.75% to the Gross Domestic Product of state and it can prove to be a game changer for the state if the chain of big international hotels be invited and asked to invest in Himachal Pradesh, said chief minister Virbhadra Singh while presiding over 6th meeting of Himachal Pradesh Tourism Board. “We can facilitate such big hoteliers by either providing them land on lease or by identifying suitable land for them to construct their hotels”, said he.
Virbhasdra Singh accentuated upon renovating and re-constructing ancient temples of state and also suggested the department of language, art and culture to re-construct such temples, particularly those gutted in fire. “All temples of pre-historic time require refurbishment and concerned department should take necessary steps in this direction,” said the chief minister.
Virbhadra Singh directed the officials to complete the required formalities for completion of the much-delayed ropeway project connecting Jakhu to Richmond project. He also proposed for another ropeway from Sarahan to Bashal Manda and said that it was a picturesque spot from the tourism point of view from where people can trek to Bhaba Valley of Kinnaur.
Chief minister asked the department concerned to take effective steps to stop harassment of tourists and visitors, especially in Shimla. “Certain guidelines to curb the activities of touts and coolies at railway station or near the bus stand or entry point needs to be regulated by law. This was necessary to stop the harassment of tourists at the hands of such people,” said he.
Chief minister emphasised the need to fast-track the infrastructure projects within stipulated time and stressed that critical gaps in the infrastructure for the growth of tourism be met on priority basis.
“Construction of parking lots needed to speed up to provide additional parking facilities in the capital town,” said he, after inquiring about the ongoing parking projects in Shimla town.
He also advised tourism department to install sign boards showing directions of the important tourist destinations on major state and national highways.
Vice-chairman tourism Major Vijay Singh Mankotia said that seminars in association with FICCI, ASSOCHAM or CII should be held in near future, as these hoteliers were also members of such associations to urge them to invest in the state in give a fillip to tourism industry in the state.