Virbhadra Singh, Chief Minister, emphasised over the need for strengthening the middle class domestic tourism infrastructure by associating the local people in its expansion rural and village tourism promotion. He was speaking on the occasion of concluding function of the World Tourism Day celebration organised by the Department of Tourism and Institute of Vocational Studies, Department of Tourism, HP University, here last evening.
Chief Minister said that Himachal Pradesh had been blessed with bountiful natural beauty, which had proved to be the major asset for attracting tourists from every part of the world. He said that the number of tourists was increasing year after year and need of the hour was to strengthen and sustain the created infrastructure which could cater to the growing demand of the domestic middle class tourists.
He said that during the preceding year 2,04,344 lakh foreign and 63,45,069 domestic tourists visited the State and was a record in itself. He said that the middle class tourists had been the backbone of the tourism in the State, which required to be cultivated and increased further. He said that tourism was the fastest growing industry in the world where ample employment and self-employment avenues were available.
Virbhadra Singh stressed upon the need for associating the people of the rural areas and encourage them to create necessary infrastructure to cater to the promotional activities of the rural tourism which was gaining popularity to cater to the domestic and foreign tourists.
He said that with the availability of basic amenities in the rural areas and villages more of the enthusiastic tourists would be thronging these places thereby increasing economic activities in rural Himachal besides providing local people self-employment avenues. He said that the services required had to be of quality and professionally standardized so that the visitors would enjoy the hospitality of the State.