Shimla, Aug 4 (IANS) The Himalayan tourist circuit has got financial assistance of Rs 100 crore, paving way for 14 tourism-related projects, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said on Friday.
Presiding over a meeting of the state tourism development board here, he said the upcoming projects included setting up of a convention centre at Kiarighat on the Chandigarh-Shimla highway and construction of a helipad near Shimla town at an outlay of Rs 25 crore.
Agreements have also been signed for four ropeway projects — Dharamsala-McLeodganj, Aadi Himani-Chamunda, Palchan-Rohtang and Bhuntar-Bijli Mahadev ropeways — under the Built Operate Transfer basis to promote adventure and religious tourism.
The ropeway projects from Sarahan to Bashal Kanda, Bharmour to Bharmani Mata, Toba to hilltop Naina Devi temple and Shahtalai to Deotsidh are in bidding stages.
Himachal Pradesh’s economy is highly dependent on tourism, besides hydroelectric power and horticulture.
The state attracted 18.45 million tourists last year, which is 2.7 times its population, says the state’s Economic Survey 2016-17.
According to the report, the state has 2,604 hotels with a bed capacity of 70,869 registered with the tourism department. In addition, there are 787 home-stay units with a provision of 2,137 rooms.