A Spokesman of the Tourism Department disclosed that the Department was developing Wayside Amenities at 32 different places at National and State Highways passing through the State. He said that each Wayside Amenity would have a separate public convenience, information centre, souvenir shop and parking place. The information centres would subsequently be equipped with the Rail, Air and Hotel booking facility. As far as possible these facilities would be located within in a distance of 35-40 Km from one another.
He said that the Wayside Amenity would be run by the local body of the area and the tourist would not have to scout for public conveniences as neat and clean washrooms would be available to the visitors. Besides, depending upon the location of the Wayside Amenity, such facilities would provide employment to local people as well. The Wayside Amenities would also serve as a focal point for promoting the Rural Tourism under the flagship of ‘Har Gaon Ki Kahani’. Each village in a cluster of Rural Tourism villages would include the adventure and eco-tourism activities.
He said that out of the 150 lakh tourists who visited the State last year, more than 95% came by road. The average stay of a tourist in the State was less than three days. With the development of these facilitation centres, the stay was expected to increase. He said that tourism culture was started in well organized manner in the State with establishing of HP Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) in the State in the year 1972. The organization has 55 properties providing quality services to the tourists and a recent study by Asian Development Bank (ADB) has recognized this fact. He said that HPTDC properties were now to be supplemented by this scheme which was the first of its kind in the country and was being replicated in other States too. The places where Wayside Amenities are to be developed were Jukhala and Ghambrola in Bilaspur district, Dalhousie and Dhundiara in Chamba district, Dosarka, Baba Balak Nath, Nadaun and Targhel in Hamirpur district, Near Chambi Khad Bridge, Dodan Nallah (Near Ranital Baroh), Manjha, Kheer Ganga (Baijnath) and Dehra-Pong in Kangra district, Raison, Bajaura, and Chauri-Vihal in Kullu district, Ladruhin (Near Chauntra), Thalot, and Slapper in Mandi district, Near Matiana Bazar & Jubberhatti-Jathia Devi in Shimla district, Sarahan and Dhaulakuan in Sirmaur district, Kumarhatti, Near Parontha Gully Cutting, Dehun Chowki (Near Kandaghat), Bhararighat, Shalaghat and Kaithlighat in Solan district, Near Village Ghandawal, Near Bangana, and Bharwain in Una district.
He said that the project had been sanctioned and execution had been started on this.