The present State Government was committed to make Himachal Pradesh a most favoured tourist destination of the country by strengthening tourism infrastructure and providing world class facilities to the tourists. This was stated by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while participating in the Manali Tourism Conclave event of Zee Punjab Haryana Himachal held at Manali today. Chief Minister said that tourism industry was the most adversely affected sector during Corona pandemic. He said that the main aim of the government during the pandemic was survival of the industry and now focus was being laid on revival of the tourism sector. He said that tourism sector accounts of 7.3 per cent of the total State’s GDP. He said that it not only providing direct and indirect employment to local youth but was also a major sector for providing self employment opportunities to the youth.

Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government has launched a new and innovative scheme ‘Nai Raahein Nai Manzilein ‘ to promote lesser known tourist destinations. He said that an amount of Rs. 200 crore have been sanctioned under this scheme during the last about four years. He said that under this scheme, Billing in Kangra district was being developed as a paragliding and adventure sports destination, Chanshal in Shimla district as Winter sports destination, Jhenjehli in Mandi district at Eco tourism destination and Pong Dam in Kangra district at water sports destination. He said that steps were being taken to provide tourists best way side facilities. Chief Minister said that the State Government has also succeeded to get sanctioned a Rs. 2095 crore ADB Tourism project for the State. He said that process of preparing DPRs for projects worth Rs 700 crore was under way. He said that Shiv Dham was being developed in Mandi district which would be an added attraction for the tourists visiting the State.

Jai Ram Thakur said that the State was endeavouring to strengthen air connectivity in the State. He said that efforts were on to construct greenfield airport at Nagchala in Mandi district. He said that the Finance Commission has also recommended Rs 1000 crore for this airport which would not only add wings to tourism development in the State but also was important from strategic point on view. IT Minister Dr. Ram Lal Markanda, Education Minister Govind Singh Thakur also participated in the conclave. Principal Secretary Tourism and Civil Aviation Subhasish Panda was also present on the occasion.

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