The Asian development Bank would be spending Rs. 15 crore on various tourism promotion activities during current year in district Kangra, apart from other regular budgetary provisions made for tourism promotion in the district. This was stated by Prof. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister and added that first installment of Rs. 60 lakh was being released today to the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation for making one rural destination in each of the 12 districts of the State, selected in the first phase under ‘Har Gaon Ki Kahani’.

Chief Minister said that Tourism Department had carried exhaustive study of different villages in different districts of the State and brought out a book titled ‘Har Gaon Ki Kahani’ which included historical importance and legends connected with the village in each district. He said that to begin with the Tourism Department would register two units under ‘Home Stay’ scheme in each of the listed 12 villages in the ‘Har Gaon Ki Kahani’ besides creating necessary infrastructural facilities to cater to the needs of tourists. He said that the ‘Home Stay Scheme’ launched by the department had been a driving force to the rural house owners, motivating them to join the tourism promotion activities at village level and a large number of units had already been registered in different villages, including the highest village in tribal valley of Spiti since the launching of the scheme. He said that the scheme aimed at acquainting tourists with the rural life in the villages of Himachal where they were also being served traditional local cuisines. He said that such units had also been instrumental in introducing visitors to the rich cultural heritage of the State.

Prem Kumar Dhumal said that soon the second phase of ‘Har Gaon Ki Kahani’ would be launched by including 103 more villages to add to the list of villages which had historical significance and were capable of generating interests amongst the tourists and the others carrying out research activities. He said that the first familiarization tour would be commencing from Dharamshala in Kangra district from December 21, 2011 and would be culminating at historic rock temple Masroor in Dehra Sub-Division of the district where dance-drama festival would be organized to draw the attention of the visitors. He said that with a view to strengthen the communication and information dissemination network in the State, foundation stone of Tourist Reception Centre would be laid on 17th December, 2011. He said that the

Centre would be providing information to all the visitors not only of the district but the entire State so that more visitors were attracted to visit different places of tourist interest in the State. He said that the State Government would be providing skill upgradation training to the local youth and stake holders in human resources development so that they could professionally manage the tourism units in villages. He said that the Institute of Hotel Management, Hamirpur, would also be starting two more diploma courses in tourism in addition to the one degree and two diploma courses being taught in the Institute.

Chief Minister said that added attention was being paid towards tourism promotion activities and local youth imparted training to adopt tourism as their full time avocation.
Dr. Arun Sharma, Director of Tourism and Civil Aviation, apprised the Chief Minister of the ongoing activities and proposed initiatives to give boost to tourism. He thanked the Chief Minister for releasing first instalment under ‘Har Gaon Ki Kahani’ which was bound to give boost to rural tourism promotion activities in the State. He said that all out efforts were being made to make tourism a household industry in association with the local stake holders.