Economic Survey 2017-18

15. Tourism and Civil Aviation

Tourism sector in Himachal Pradesh has been recognized as one of the most important sectors of the economy as it is being realized as a major engine of growth for future and as such contribution of the tourism sector to the State GDP is 6.6 percent approximately which is quite significant. The State is endowed with all the basic resources necessary for thriving tourism activity like geographical and cultural diversity, clean and peaceful environment and beautiful streams, sacred shrines, historic monuments and the friendly and hospitable people.
Tourism Industry in Himachal Pradesh has been given very high priority and the Government has developed appropriate infrastructure for its development which includes public utility services, roads, communication network, airports, transport facilities, water supply and civic amenities etc. At present about 2,907 hotels having bed capacity of about 81,514 are registered with the department. In addition, there are about 1,220 Home Stay units registered in the State having about 7,044 beds.
To give boost to the Tourism in the State, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved loan assistance worth US $ 95.16 million to Himachal Pradesh for development of tourist infrastructure in the State. Under Tranche-I financial assistance of US $ 33.00 million has been approved and the completion period of the projects is June, 2018 Community Based Tourism under Trenche-1 was implemented in 5 clusters of the State (Dhameta, Kangra-Paragpur, Chintpurni, Nainadevi and Shimla-Chail) in which various types of skilled and livelihood based trainings were provided and total 5,316 participants (Female 2,822 and Male 2,494) were trained. Under Tranche-3 total finance of US $62.16 million has been approved on 28th September, 2015. The completion period of Tranche-3 is June, 2020. Under this Tranche there are total 15 sub-projects of civil works out of which 9 sub-projects have been awarded Three projects i.e. Conservation and Restoration of Rock Cut Temple Masroor, Tourism Culture Centre at Shimla (Peterhoff) and Creation of Cultural Centre for Traditional Crafts and Arts at Haroli Una has been dropped and now in place of these three projects the work of Conservation/ Restoration and Rehabilitation of Bantony Castle in the Heritage Zone, Shimla is being executed and rest of the three projects are at bidding stage. Under Tranche-3, 19 Panchayats have been selected for the implementation of Community Based Tourism (CBT) projects, out of which initial training have been started in 7 panchayats and total 673 participants participated. The Government of India, Ministry of Tourism has sanctioned the project Integrated Development of Himalyan Circuit in Himachal Pradesh worth `9,976.05 lakh under Swadesh Darshan Scheme. Under this project total 14 tourism development projects have been sanctioned for the State.
The Department of Tourism is encouraging private sector to develop tourism related infrastructure in the State under Public Private Partnership (PPP). The Ropeway project from Bhunter to Bijli Mahadev has been signed on 23.02.2017 between Department of Tourism and Usha Breco Chamunda Devi Ropeway Pvt. Ltd. condition precedence are being fulfilled by the promoter. In addition to above, the Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation has identified the following five sites for offering the same to the private sector on a long term lease basis:-

A sustained marketing of the State is being done throughout the year in print and electronic media. In order to promote tourism dissemination of tourist information plays significant role. The department of Tourism prepares different types of promotional publicity material like brochures/ pamphlets, posters, blow-ups etc. and participate in various tourism fairs and festivals in the country and abroad. The Department and HPTDC along with private hoteliers participated in more than 40 fairs and festivals, within and outside the State during 2017-18.
The Department has organized various general training Courses for the unemployed youth of the State like Basic Course on Tourism, orientation of Taxi Drivers, Poters, Dhaba Workers and Owners, Trekking Guide Course, Homestay Owners, Ski and Adventure Courses etc. In 2017-18 Department has approved the proposal to train 508 unemployed youth in 7 courses to be conducted in different areas of Himachal Pradesh. The Department has organized and supports the Tourism, related events and festival. During the current financial year the Department has organized /participated in following events. Participated in India Travel Mart (ITM) Amritsar, Lucknow, Jaipur and India International Travel Exhibition (IITE), Aurangabad and Indore, India international Travel Mart (IITM), Bangaluru, Chennai, Pune, Hyderabad and Kochin, Tourism and Travel Fair (TTF), Kolkata, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Surat etc. The department has also prepared promotional films and commercials to promote tourism in the State which includes films of duration 30 minutes, 10 minutes and 5 minutes, three television commercials of 60 seconds and three television commercials of 30 seconds duration.

Civil Aviation

At present there are only three Airports in Himachal Pradesh namely Shimla, Bhuntar (Kullu-Manali) and Kangra. The status of these airports is as under: -

a) Shimla Airport:

The work of widening of runway of Shimla Airport from 23 mtrs.to 30 mtrs. has been completed by the Airport Authority of India (AAI). Refueling facility has also been completed by the Indian oil Corporation (IOC) Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India has launched the “Regional Air Connectivity Scheme-UDAN”. In Jubberhatti (Shimla) airport and Bhunter (Kullu) airports have been included in the said scheme as RCS airports and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Regional Connectivity Scheme (RCS) UDAN has been signed between Ministry of Civil Aviation (MOCA), Airport Authority of India (AAI) and State Government on 16.01.2017. Regular Flights from Shimla airport were started w.e.f. 27.04.2017 under RCS-UDAN. Matter regarding expansion of Shimla airport is under consideration at the level of State Government in view of the huge financial implications involved.

b) Bhunter (Kullu-Manali) Airport:

As per the report of IIT Roorkee the total expenditure of `81.34 crore will be incurred on the diversion of river Beas and it will take approximate 3-4 years. This work will be done by the State Government and thereafter site will be handed over to Airport Authority of India. The diversion of river Beas and extension of runway by the State Government will require 27.77 hectares of land. Work of extension of runway by the Airport Authority of India, New Delhi will be done after diversion of river Beas by the State Government. However, a policy decision regarding financial implications and whether, the land is to be provided free of cost and free from all encumbrances to the AAI for extension of Bhunter airport, is required to be taken at Government level and the same is under consideration of the Government.

c) Kangra Airport:

At present the runway dimension of Gaggal (Kangra) airport is 1372x30 meters. New plan for expansion Gaggal (Kangra) airport is 1820x150 meters has been prepaid by the airport authority of India For this purpose, total 153 acres of land is required free of cost and free from all encumbrances. It involves huge financial implications /burden on the State Government. Indian Air Force is also looking for some land to develop an airfield as an alternative to Pathankot in view of its vulnerability after the recent terrorist strike at Pathankot. The Deputy Commissioner Kangra was directed to explore the possibility of acquisition of land by the Indian Air Force. He has informed that the representatives of Indian Air Force and Indian Army have been requested to submit their consent for acquisition of land measuring 571 acres and the Air Force shall allow the State/ Civil authorities to use the 153 acres of land as well as existing Airstrip for civil purpose matter.

Helipads

Himachal Pradesh at present has 63 operational helipads. The Government has decided to construct a heliport at Banderaru near Sanjauli-Dhalli bye pass road with a cost of `7.00 crore (approx) for which “In principle approval” has been conveyed by the Government and also FCA approval has been obtained by the Department. In addition, “In principle approval” for construction of Helipads at Chowari, Distt. Chamba amounting to `132.13 lakh (approx.) and Kunnu, District Mandi amounting to `35.26 lakh (approx.) has also been conveyed by the Government and FCA cases of these Helipads are under process.

Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation

The Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation was established in 1972 to Promote Tourism in the Pradesh. Ever since its establishment the Corporation has acted as a catalyst, trendsetter and a prime mover for the promotion of tourism in Himachal Pradesh. The Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation expected to earn a net profit of `165.00 lakh during the current financial year.
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