Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister addressing the delegates on the occasion of Atlas Backpacker Research Group Meeting at Shimla on wednesday.Theindiapost photo by Anil Dayal Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister said that State Government would consider preparation of a master plan for planned tourism development in public-private participation in different tourism related activities in the State. He was addressing the three day long International Conference, ”ATLAS Backpacker Mobilities- An Expert Conference” on backpacker tourism, jointly organized by Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, H.P. University and the Association for Tourism and Leisure Education (ATLAS) which he inaugurated by lighting the lamp here today.
Chief Minister said that the State Government would soon be coming up with a detailed tourism development master plan to harness the available natural potential to the optimum with ecological safeguards and create quality infrastructure to meet the requirements of tourists of different economic levels.
Prof. Dhumal said that the State would explore possibilities to attract the young, enthusiastic public school students to explore the State and to remain in close contact with the nature, culture, tradition and food habits of rural Himachal. He said that the department would get in touch with all the prominent educational institutions, within and outside the country, especially public schools and prepare an attractive package for the school children so that whatever they had been reading in books, other publicity literature and watching in the video films was personally visited. He said that it would definitely be the most memorable and learning experience to the young citizens who would know about the life style, food habits, culture and tradition of hilly people. He said that the State had been blessed with different climate conditions which cater to almost all types of tourists and needed to be exploited by creating basic infrastructural facilities. He added that the students would also be taken to hydro electric projects to learn about the hydro power generation process to update their knowledge.
Chief Minister said that backpacker tourism was emerging as a global tourism phenomenon as large number of youth and children packed with rucksacks explore different destinations the world over. He said that although low spending, the backpacker tourism required basic infrastructural facilities, which would be created in different areas of the State in a phased manner and would form part of the proposed Tourism Master Plan.
Prof. Dhumal said that Himachal Pradesh was known as ‘Land of Gods’ and had a number of prominent shrines in different parts of the State, which were visited by large number of devotees from within and outside the country. He said that basic infrastructural facilities had been created in the prominent shrines of the State for convenience of the devotees.