Tourism master plan on the anvil– Manisha Nanda

trekkingShimla: To develop sustainable and environment friendly tourism, the government intends to draw up a master plan with a 20 year perspective. “Objective of the tourism master plan is to de-congest present destinations and divert tourism traffic to new places,” says Manisha Nanda, secretary tourism.

For formulating a 20 year perspective master plan, a meeting with different departments and consultants hired for the purpose was held on Monday, officials disclosed.

Keeping the arising needs of travel industry in mind, the master plan will outlay parameters about developing sustainable and environment friendly tourism in the state.

A special focus will be made for the community development and also to increase the employment opportunities. The master plan includes the activities like eco-tourism, rural and cultural tourism, heritage tourism and adventure tourism.

The plan will be drafted in a manner that it would be environment friendly, socially acceptable, employment based and would utilize modern marketing strategy for attracting the high end tourists, especially the foreigners, said Nanda.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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    It is indeed a great news to hear about the drawing up of a Master Plan to boost up tourism in Himachal Pradesh with a 20 year vision.

    It is quite commendable to know that irrespective of the various kinds/forms of Tourisms like heritage, eco-tourism, adventure, or say rural tourism or even medical, herbal torusim etc that may be strengthened, some to be implemented, that the Plan will be drafted taking into care the environment as first and the foremost concern, then ofcourse the social fabric as no provisions of the Plan in any way hinder the age old culture, sentiments, traditions, set up of the local populace at the behest of the tourists’ enjoyment.

    Surely, implementation as well as operation of the Plan as regards the tourism activities should be cost effectively so as to be implemented in true practical form with as low as possible costs in opetaing the activities in order to provide several services / facilities to the tourists in the most hospitable manner in the sense that it would also require a specialized training that needs to be imparted to the staff in attending the tourists, in truly professional and courteous manner as all of that hospitality would spread by word of mouth , atleast throughout the world especially since foreigners are aimed as high end tourists.

    Implementation of the Master Plan would also require thorough and serious efforts to ensure proper maintenance of law and order,especially at the tourist places so that no untoward incidents occur with the tourists so as to send the wrong / negative signals overseas that could be very damaging and thereby very difficult to repair the tarnished image once registered in the minds of the esteemed high end tourists i.e. foreigners that are aimed at by the concerned department.

    So, before the actual implementation of the Master Plan that would cater to the next 20 years it is expected that a serious thought shall be given for a very effective operation of the plan for the coming years taking into consideration various factors of today’s concern and for the coming years in the next two decades as proposed.

    Wishing the very best to the entire team at the Department of Tourism, Himachal Pradesh and with the able guidance and direction of the Secretary, Tourism, Himachal Pradesh.

    Saurabh Bhakri / New Delhi

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