TN govt draws master plan to promote tourism
Chennai, Jul 8: With Tamil Nadu emerging as a major IT and health hub attracting a large number of visitors, the state government is drawing up a master plan to promote tourism in a big way, State Tourism Minister N Suresh Rajan said today.
The main aim of tourism master plan was to identify and develop tourist destinations and circuits in Tamil Nadu in a systematic manner, he said while inagurating a workshop on 'Promotion of Tourism in Tamil Nadu.' Stating that the government had drawn up ambitious plans for promotion of eco-tourism in the state, he said more than Rs one crore would be spent for promoting Pitchavaram as a major eco-tourism centre.
The government was also taking steps to promote Mundandurai and Kalakkad as major eco-tourism destinations by building up adequate infrastructure in these places, he added.
Stressing that Tamil Nadu had a tremendous potential to become a major health tourism resort, the Minister said several public and private healthcare centres with state-of-the-art technology had been established in Chennai, Vellore and Coimbatore, providing quality medical care at affordable prices.
Even foreign tourists from Asian and European countries visiting Chennai for medicare had become a common phenomenon, he pointed out.
Mr Rajan said the government was also examining to constitute a state-level Tourism Advisory Committee shortly, consisting of all the stake holders of tourism in the state, which would meet at regular intervals to evolve strategies for promotion of tourism in Tamil Nadu. Noting that despite the increase in the number of hotels, there was a need for establishment of more hotels in the five star and three star category, he said the government would encourage more investment in the hospitality sector.
It would also ensure that clearances were obtained on a fast track mode so that additional accommodation facilities were created in the few years, he added.
Mr Rajan said all the leading hotel groups had already announced their plans for setting up of five-star hotels in Chennai.
they had taken major steps in promoting heritage tourism in Tamil Nadu. As Chettinad palaces were attracting international tourists for their architectural marvels, the government was also taking steps to develop infrastructure facilities in and around the heritage area, he added.
Steps had also been taken to improve infrastructure facilities at Thanjavur, Madurai and Kanniyakumari on par with international standards, he said.
The Minister noted that Tamil Nadu was an ideal destination for promotion of adventure tourism as Udhagamandalam, Kodaikanal and less known tourist destinations like Elagiri and Kolli Hills were ideal for trekking, hang-gliding and hot air balloon.
He said the emergence of Chennai as a major hub for business travellers had resulted in great demand for establishing of convention centres in and around the city.
Stating that the government was keen to establish convention centres on the East Coast Road, Mr Rajan said it would also consider extending concessions and incentives to investors who come forward to establish convention centres conforming to international standards.