Himachal Pradesh to have multiple tourism promotion programmes

Himachal Pradesh government plan to have a light and sound show to depict the history of Shimla and its association with the Indian freedom struggle.

“A place will be chosen for the light and sound show in line with the Cellular Jail in Andaman and Nicobar Islands,” said Jai Ram Thakur, the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh. He was replying a question regarding the tourism policy of the state in the Assembly.

He said tourism could be the main revenue earner of the state’s economy. It could alleviate the issue of unemployment, as providing job opportunities to the youth in the public sector would be a difficult task for any government.

He said that the government could get approval for a tourism project worth Rs 1,892 crore as loan from Asian Development Bank (ADB). Another Rs 50 crore has been set aside by the state for new tourist destinations.

The government aims to promote new destinations like Chanshal in Shimla, Bir Biling in Kangra and Janjheli in Mandi. There are also plans to develop the old Hindustan-Tibet road from Narkanda to Namgya on community-based tourism as a part of eco-travel circuit.

Another proposal was to develop snow points in the state from tourism point of view. The CM said there were many such points in the state other than Rohtang Pass, which can attract the tourists.

Poor connectivity has been a big factor hampering tourism promotion in Himachal Pradesh. The state the government had made requests to the Centre for developing a fourth and bigger airport in Himachal at a suitable place, which will solve the problem of air connectivity. Currently Shimla, Gaggal and Kullu are the airport in Shimla, which have no scope for further enhancements.

Himachal Pradesh already has started helitaxi services between Shimla and Chandigarh. However the conditions of the roads are still poor. The state plans to have a new four-lane highway to overcome this issue and to enhance tourist footfalls.

Other promotional programmes include encouragement of lake tourism on dam sites, heritage tourism, religious tourism and adventure tourism.