Haryana to encourage private sector in tourism

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Chandigarh, Jan 3 (UNI) Haryana Minister of State for Tourism and Forests Kiran Choudhry today said the role of private sector had been recognised by the state government in its new tourism policy.

''This has shifted the paradigm of tourism industry in Haryana,'' she said while addressing a press conference here.

She said the tourism policy especially emphasises the role of private sector as a partner for promotion of tourism in the state.

The private sector would be encouraged to set up hotels, resorts, spas, theme parks and amusement parks, she added.

The state would endeavor to encourage more private investments in the tourism sector especially for budget tourists.

The Minister said that the Tourism had been declared as an industry under the Induatrial Policy, 2005 subject to the notification of eligibilty norms for Tourism and Hotel Projects.

She said the policy further expanded the list of backward blocks enumerated in the Industrial Policy to include Thanesar, Pehowa, Jagadhri, Panipat, Hisar, Bhiwani and Rewari blocks of the state as backward blocks from tourism point of view.

She said the incentives available under the Industrial Policy would also be available to the tourism and hotel projects in these blocks.

The new hotel projects which were three star and above, amusement parks and recreational parks and theme parks, golf courses, adventure tourism, multiplexes, malls and heritage hotels would be treated as industry and would be eligible for the concessions and incentives given by the State Government under the new policy.

She said one of the major hallmarks of the Tourism Policy 2008 was the lease policy regarding major tourism projects as the state was of the opinion that tourism sector could only flourish if the land was provided to the prospective entrepreneurs on lease basis.

The lease would be provided for short term period that is upto 11 years and for medium period that is upto 33 years and not less than 20 years and long term basis. She said that the policy proposes 99 years which could be considered as 33 years extendable by another 33 years on the pattern of lease policy for panchayat.

The Minister said that the major emphasis has been given on the development of tourism related infrastructure and for positioning Gurgoan as a convention city, Kurukshetra as a pilgrimage destination, Pinjore and Panipat as Heritage destinations and Morni, Sultanpur and Kalesar as eco-tourism destinations.

She said the tourism was a major source of employment generation as it was estimated that every million rupee invested in tourism sector creates 52 jobs as against 45 in agriculture and 13 jobs in manufacturing. The travel and tourism worldwide accounts for 11 per cent of the world GDP and 8.6 per cent of employment.

She said that if tourism's contribution was increased to 10 percent of GDP, it could create 26 million new jobs.

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