20 destinations being developed to attract tourists

May 27th, 2008 - 8:00 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, May 27 (IANS) India is developing 20 places, including Agra - home to the Taj Mahal - as short-halt destinations to attract more foreign tourists, the tourism ministry said here Tuesday. The 20 sites were selected on the basis of the number of national and international travellers visiting the place. Being a world heritage site was also a factor in the selection, the ministry statement said.

The tourism ministry will provide financial assistance of up to Rs.250 million for development of a mega destination and of Rs.500 million for a mega circuit.

“The ministry’s objective is to ensure that with enhanced investments and an integrated approach, the mega destinations will be developed to maximize their potential,” the tourism ministry’s statement said.

“The resulting increase in tourist inflows, in turn, will lead to economic development and employment generation in and around these places,” the statement added.

The sites are Agra - revitalization of the Taj (Uttar Pradesh), Varanasi-Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh), Bodhgaya-Rajgir-Nalanda (Bihar), illumination of monuments of Delhi (Delhi), Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu), Puri-Bhubaneswar-Konark-Chilka (Orissa), Haridwar-Rishikesh (Uttarakhand), Hampi (Karnataka), Gangtok (Sikkim), Ajmer-Pushkar (Rajasthan) and Kurukshetra (Haryana).

Other sites include Charminar area of Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh), Jagdalpur-Tirathgarh-Chitrakoot-Barsoo (Chhattisgarh), Dwarka (Gujarat), Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), Churches of Goa, Ganga Heritage River Cruise Circuit (West Bengal), Vidarbha Circuit (Maharashtra), Aurangabad (Maharashtra) and Amritsar (Punjab).

The ministry has already sanctioned Rs.1 billion for mega projects at Agra, Varanasi-Sarnath, Bodhgaya-Rajgir-Nalanda, and illumination of monuments of Delhi, Mahabalipuram, Kurukshetra and Charminar area of Hyderabad.

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