In a meeting to review the activities of Tourism Department under the Chairmanship of the Chief Secretary, S. Roy, who is also the Principal Secretary Tourism, it was decided that the 2nd phase of Rural Tourism under the flagship ‘Har Gaon Ki Kahani’ would be launched in all the districts. Deputy Commissioners have been asked to complete the selection of villages on the basis of stories received at the district Headquarters by 15th June, 2012.Work on the tourism related works in all the cluster of villages will start by 15th August, 2012. Under the ‘Har Gaon Ki Kahani’, the first Masroor festival had been held on 21st December, 2011, from this year onwards the festival would be a two day affair.

S. Roy further said that the department is going ahead with the pen-ink prints of the complex for publicity purposes. A multilingual documentary on ‘Har Gaon Ki Kahani’ and Masroor festival has also been prepared by the department and is now ready for exhibition with in and outside the country. The successful ‘Tum Mujhe Bhula na paoge’ (Unforgettable Himachal) campaign in Hindi has also be dubbed in other languages including English and will be promoted overseas also. From this year all the tourism literature is being translated in different languages.

Under ‘Hunar-Se-Rojgar’ programme, about 6000 youths are to be trained through out the state at a cost of Rs. 534 lakhs for the inculcation/ up-gradation of skills for enhancing the employability in the tourism sector and also to prepare them for running their own tourism ventures. Apart from this Hospitality related courses will be run in 7 more IT Is. Rs.1400 lakhs will be spend on these courses.

S. Roy emphasized the need for better coordination between the departments for ensuring incident free tourist season. He further stressed for the better preparedness on the part of industrial players also especially in view of the global recession which is likely to result in spurt in domestic sector.

S. Roy hoped that 15% GDP target from Tourism would be exceeded by the year 2020. By the year 2020, tourism in Himachal Pradesh may become the biggest employer. For realizing the potential of the tourism sector in consonance with the conservation policies of the state, adventure activities in the state would be promoted in a more efficient and coordinated manner. Adventure tourism has already become a big attraction to the visitors and about 25% of the visitors experience the joy and thrill of the adventure activities.

For ensuring a sustained and diversified tourism product in the state, Roy asked the department of Tourism to strictly enforce the regulatory provisions. The Department of Tourism is also coming out with an innovative campaign on ‘Responsible Tourism’.

The meeting was attended by the Director Tourism, Director Information & Public Relations and Managing Director, HP TDC and Joint Director Tourism, Himachal Pradesh.