He was speaking at an event where Union Tourism minister K J Alphons emphasised the importance of tourism for the Indian economy. Global tourism grew by 7 per cent while tourism in India it grew by 15.6 per cent, Alphons said.
Inaugurating a two day conference at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports in Kullu district, Thakur said five of the 113 sites would be developed in the public-private partnership mode, while the forest department will promote eco-tourism activity in 16 sites and the state forest corporation on another 47.
In addition, 25 destinations would be developed by constructing log huts for stay of tourists in the lap of nature, he said.
He said around 10 places would be developed from adventure tourism point of view in close coordination with the Eco Tourism Society, Tourism Department and Mountaineering Institute, Manali while 31 eco-tourism circuits have been prepared for approval to the Centre.
Nature parks and herbal gardens were being developed in the state while 50 Forest Rest Houses have been put in use for starting eco-tourism activities, he said.
Efforts would be made to link eco-tourism with the rural life, culture and traditions, which would not only boost tourism in the unexplored and virgin tourist destinations of the state, but also help in increasing economic activity, he said.
Thakur said Rs 50 crore has been assigned in the budget for the tourism sector and a new scheme launched. He said that the state government had banned use of thermocol cup plates from World Environment Day on June 5.
He said eco-tourism could have many dimensions such as trekking, mountain biking, river rafting, skiing, heli-skiing, camping, rock climbing, bird watching etc.
Union Tourism Minister K J Alphons said Himachal has immense tourism potential which needs to be harnessed judiciously. He said that the future of India was in tourism as global tourism grew by 7 per cent, but tourism in India it grew by 15.6 per cent.
Noted International WWF wrestler Daleep Singh Rana alias 'The Great Khali' who is the Brand Ambassador of 'Plastic Hatao' Campaign, urged the people to say no to plastic for keeping our environment neat and clean.
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