To boost eco-tourism in the state, the Himachal Pradesh government has identified 11 pristine eco-tourism sites located in forest areas. During a meeting of the Himachal Pradesh Eco Tourism Society, Chief Minister Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu expressed the need for promoting eco-tourism on a large scale and highlighted ongoing infrastructure development efforts to support this initiative.
Additionally, sites like Sojha in Seraj, Narkanda in Kotgarh, Shogi camping site, and Potter Hill camping site, all situated under the Shimla forest division, have been earmarked for development. Each of these eco-tourism destinations will encompass an area of one hectare, ensuring their protection and sustainability. Additionally, a reserve price has been established for these sites to facilitate their development and operation through outsourcing.
The Chief Minister emphasised that Himachal Pradesh has been blessed by nature with unparalleled natural beauty, making it an attractive destination for tourists from around the world. He stressed that the promotion of eco-tourism in the state would not only enhance tourist footfall but also contribute significantly to the state’s revenue. Moreover, it would lead to the creation of employment and self-employment opportunities for the local population, he added.
The government’s commitment to eco-tourism goes beyond the 11 identified sites, Sukhu added, informing that more such eco-tourism sites will be identified and developed in the state to boost tourism, which had taken a major hit during the recent floods. In line with these efforts to promote sustainable and responsible tourism, the Himachal Pradesh government has also recently approved two eco-tourism projects worth INR 16.67 crore. These projects are slated for development in Hareta Gram Panchayat within the Nadaun block of Hamirpur district and Kamyana Hilltop in the Mashobra block of Shimla district. The implementation of these projects will involve active participation from the Tourism Development Society and Self-Help Groups in these areas.
These initiatives are a collaborative effort between various government departments, including Panchayati Raj, Forest, Tourism, and Rural Development, to ensure the successful execution of these eco-tourism projects.