Manali, June 12 (IANS) The Himachal Pradesh government has identified 113 sites to be developed to make the state an eco-tourism destination, besides developing nature parks and herbal gardens, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said on Tuesday.
At the inaugural function of two-day international conference on ‘Eco-Tourism Potential in Himachal Pradesh’, organized by the state Forest Department and the Eco-Tourism Society of Himachal Pradesh here, he said in addition 25 new destinations would be developed by constructing log huts.
He said three eco-tourism hubs would be developed in this fiscal, while 10 places would be developed for adventure activities. He said 31 eco-tourism circuits has been prepared and would be sent for approval to the Central government.
Thakur said 50 forest rest houses have been used to start the eco-tourism activities in the state, and this would not only give boost to the unexplored and virgin tourist destinations but also help in increasing economic activities in rural areas.
Union Tourism Minister K.J. Alphons, who was also present, said the state has immense tourism potential and this needs to be harnessed judiciously.
Noting global tourism grew by seven per cent, but tourism in India grew by 15.6 per cent, he said private entrepreneurs should be involved in a big way to harness the immense tourism potential of the state.
State Tourism Minister Govind Thakur said the emphasis of the state is to ensure tourism development with minimum impact on environment.