Shimla: By cutting a ribbon to launch a helicopter joy ride, chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today got the much awaited heli-taxi service started in the state, something that has been in the pipeline for years to cut short travel distance for high end tourists to Himachal.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said, this service would facilitate tourists to visit famous places in the hills as well as provide ready access to distant and remote scenic spots in the state.
The scope and reach of tourism for high end tourist has widened with the start of helitaxi service as it will drastically reduce travel time and help to prolong oneâ€™s stay in the state, he added.
By taking on passengers for a sightseeing ride to Kullu-Manali valley, private operator Simm Samm heli-taxi services were started from Annadale helipad today.
Himachal had come to stay as an adventure tourism destination and in 2010 about 1.39 crore tourists are recorded to have visited the state, said Dhumal, which is about two times of the population it has.
Sustained campaigns had increased the number of foreigners visiting the state and data showed that there were more foreign tourists in 2010 than in the previous years, he added.
Others present on the occasion included health minister Rajiv Bindal, parliamentarian Bimla Kashyap, director tourism Arun Sharma and principal secretary tourism Manisha Nanda among others.
Himachal Tourism Bags â€˜Favourite Adventure Destination Award
On basis of an independent survey conducted by Nielson for Outlook Traveller Magazine, the state has been conferred three prestigious awards, chief minister Dhumal disclosed.
The awards, which include â€˜Favourite Hill Destination â€“ Manaliâ€™; â€˜Outlook Travellers Award â€“ 2010â€™ and â€˜Favourite Adventure Destinationâ€™, are National Level Awards and would be presented at New Delhi today, said Dhumal.