Centre sanctions integrated devlpment of 4 mega tourist destinatio

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New Delhi, Oct 7 (UNI) The Union Tourism Ministry has sanctioned integrated development of four mega destinations and circuits, during the second quarter of 2008-09.

The destinations include Hampi World Heritage Site (Karnataka), Heritage Tourist Circuit in Kadapa (Andhra Pradesh), Ganga Heritage River Cruise Circuit (West Bengal) and Gangtok Mega Destination (Sikkim).

''One of the primary objectives of the Ministry in sanctioning these projects is to show India as a country with different types of experiences,'' a Tourism Ministry official said here today.

Hampi World Heritage site has immense potential as a cultural destination, sources said.

The project worth Rs 32.83 crore sanctioned by the Ministry includes improvement of surroundings of the destination, illumination of historical buildings and development of other tourist facilities, they added.

Kadapa, which has historical links with Hampi also has several historical and cultural sites. The project sanctioned at a cost of Rs 36.92 crore includes creation of tourist facilities around important temples, dams/reservoirs and forts, they informed.

India has very good potential for development of river cruise tourism, the official claimed. The Ganga Heritage Cruise circuit would offer experience of river cruise and visits to historical settlements along the banks of Ganga in West Bengal.

This project of Rs 20.42 crore would work for the beautification of river fronts, illumination of monuments, and construction of tourist reception centres at several places of the state.

The upcoming tourist destination Sikkim would create tourist facilities as well as facilitation centers and construct parks and taxi stands to meet the growing demand of tourists through the sanctioned project of Rs 23.90 crore.

''These projects to be completed within two to three years will greatly enhance visitors' experience in the mega destinations and circuits,'' the official said.

UNI SH RJ VC1618

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