(Attari-Wagah Road) (Amritsar), Oct.7 : Union Minister for Tourism and Culture Ambika Soni inaugurated a tourist resort - the Aman Umeed Bhawan - here on Tuesday.
It was earlier known as Neem Chameli.
The new tourist resort has been set with the expectation that it will draw more tourists through the Wagah - Attari land route in the future.
Spread over 1.75 acres of land, the Aman Umeed Bhawan has a built up area of about 10,000 square feet. It has facilities like restaurants, a bar, shops and resting rooms for domestic and foreign tourists, particularly those from Pakistan.
After inaugurating the complex, Soni said that the flow of tourists from across the border would help in further promoting peace between the two countries.
"Tourism has vast potential for employment generation and the setting of the Institute of Hotel Management in the area will provide opportunities for the youth to work in the sector," she said.
"Punjab has the potential to develop MICE tourism in a big way and the Centre will provide all help to establish a Convention Centre in the State," she added..
MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) is used to refer to a particular type of tourism in which large groups, usually planned well in advance, are brought together for some particular purpose.
Recently, there has been an industry trend towards using the term "Meetings Industry" to avoid confusion from the acronym.
MICE tourism usually includes a well-planned agenda centered round a particular theme, such as a hobby, a profession, or an educational topic.
Such tourism is a specialized area with its own trade shows (IMEX) and practices.
MICE events are normally bid on by specialized convention bureaus located in particular countries and cities and established for the purpose of bidding on MICE activities.
This process of marketing and bidding is normally conducted well in advance of the actual event, often several years. MICE tourism is known for its extensive planning and demanding clientele.
Aman Umeed Bhawan project is fully funded by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India that has provided the grant of over Rs. 1.23. crores towards the development of this resort.
Amritsar has also been provided the financial support from the Ministry of Tourism for other projects like the integrated development of Amritsar with the financial support of over Rs. 4.82 crores during 2005-06 which consists of the components of environmental up gradation of Ghanta Ghar Chowk, Tourist facilities at Rambagh, Punjab Freedom Struggle Interpretation Centre at Govindgarh and many other places.
The city has also been sanctioned a mega project with the total grant of over Rs. 15.85 crores in this financial year comprising the major components on composite cultural heritage walk, Darshan five Sarovar path, conservation and revitalisation of Town Hall, rural art, craft and architectural interpretation center, conservation of Samadhis, visitor facilitation Centre at the bus terminus, Lahori Gate site development, landscaping and horticulture etc.
Amritsar has thus been identified as one of the mega destinations or circuits out of the 22 identified by the Ministry of Tourism in the country for integrated development.
The Union Ministry of Tourism has assisted the State by Rs. 48.02 crores during the Tenth five-year plan and in the first two years of the eleventh five-year plan, by over Rs. 19.83 crores.
Also present on the occasion, Punjab CM Badal, talking to media told that tourism could be another sector that would enhance the economy of the State.
Badal said we have lots of things as far as historical and cultural aspects are concerned in the State that could attract the world tourists to the Punjab.
Badal urged Centre government for a package for the border farmers of Punjab, especially those, who are having land beyond barbed wire that divides India and Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Soni assured that she would raise the issue with the Centre for border farmers. y Ravinder Singh Robin