To promote rural tourism in the state, the Punjab government will hold a rural tourism workshop in the city on December 1.
The workshop will be presided over by tourism minister Sohan Singh Thandal. The main focus in the workshop will be on the expertise that will be provided to the state officials by executives from United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).
The holy city was chosen for the event as the government has chalked out a plan to develop Amritsar as a tourist hub.
During the workshop, the government will showcase the city’s historical and religious monuments and shrines, include the Golden Temple, the Jallianwala Bagh, Ram Bagh Gardens and Fort Gobindgarh. Focus will also be on the famous eateries in the city and its market places.
Agencies implementing rural tourism projects, NGOs involved in the project, researchers, writers, citizens owning rural accommodations, tour and travel agencies, hoteliers and other stakeholders will take part in the workshop.
Disclosing this here on Thursday, an official spokesperson said that the workshop will have detailed deliberations over different issues including the scope of rural tourism, rural tourism strategies and guidelines for Punjab by UNWTO. The workshop will also focus on the concept and scheme of farm tourism vis-a-vis crafts of Punjab and community involvement.
The workshop will also witness discussions over future tourist destinations and circuits followed by interactive session with stakeholders, tour operators, service providers, farm owners and community members. Incentives for farmers who are willing to offer their farm houses for the promotion of tourism will also be discussed.
The spokesperson said that Punjab has bagged the National Tourism Award 2011 for the best rural tourism site in the country that is Boothgarh in Hoshiarpur. UNWTO’s Ropar district rural tourism cluster, involving farmers who dwell along the Sutlej river and along the Shivalik foothills, will be another subject for discussion at the workshop.