UN tourism in Punjab to assist in drawing up a tourism development plan

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Chandigarh, Apr 7 : Punjab has now become one of the most sought after tourist destinations. A team from the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) is in Punjab to assist in drawing up a tourism development plan for the state.

A six-member team was pleasantly surprised at the sheer magnificence of the Sheesh Mahal or the 'Palace of Mirrors' in Patiala.

Built by Maharaja Narinder Singh in 1845, the majestic aura of the fort remains totally unspoilt to this day. Visitors drop in occasionally to soak in the splendid grandeur of the fort and the accoutrements of the royal family preserved at the museum and medal gallery.

The UNWTO team will visit several unexplored tourism sites like the 'Sheesh Mahal'.

"There are a host of other sites which are not well known or which are not developed. There is a lot of additional work that needs to be done so that the undoubted attraction of Punjab, the magnets of tourists improves, is better presented and then made known to the tourists worldwide," said Richard, a team leader, UNWTO.

The UNWTO team will now spend six months and visit the parts of Punjab to develop a tourism Master Plan. It will provide a structural framework for development, management and monitoring of tourism in the state.

"There are lots and lots of attractions that need to be brought together to show the wide range of attractions that Amritsar itself has. So it is not just a one-stop town, it's a multi-visit town. The life and the vibrancy of the old town, shopping streets, the food stalls all is something that needs to be presented better to the visitor. So, they come and stay for two to three days because there are lots of things for them to see and do," said Richard.

The magnificent sculptors depicting Punjab's rich culture and much more have been showcased at the Museum of Rural Life in Ludhiana.

A visitor steps into another time and space while visiting the place as it reflects the Punjab of yore. There is a lot more that a raconteur can tell about the 'integral history' of Punjab.

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