The Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister, Punjab, Navjot Singh Sidhu chaired a high level meeting here on Friday in which he disclosed that a comprehensive plan is being chalked out to make Punjab a hub of tourism sector besides connecting the youth with rich cultural heritage of the state.The Minister said that there are ample places of cultural importance which deserve to be included amongst the ‘World Heritage Sites’ besides some other landmarks which fall under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). He further said that UNESCO will be approached after co-ordinating with ASI to get such places included amongst World Heritage Sites.Sidhu elaborated that Punjab has the potential to emerge as the frontline destination on world tourism map.He also directed the officials of the department to maintain the original look of the cultural landmarks and warned that anybody tampering with these places will not be spared. The Minister also batted for connecting the youth with rich cultural heritage of Punjab through WEB TV.
He divulged that every day 1,25,000 tourists visit Amritsar who return the same day after paying obeisance at Darbar Sahib. He expressed confidence that Amritsar can emerge as the leading player in the tourism sector.Expressing enthusiasm for encouraging tourism through domestic airports, the minister said that if Pathankot airport is operationalised then the area around Ranjit Sagar dam can be developed as prime centre of ‘Adventure Sports’ where tourists will make a beeline on the pattern of Goa.
The Minister also floated the idea of connecting 3 takht sahiban and other religious places in Punjab through a circuit which will lead to rapid increase in the number of devotees.
Similarly, he also rooted for linking historical forts, sarais, memorials and other spots through a circuit besides a film city which would give fillip to film tourism in the state.
The Minister laid emphasis on bolstering tourism through folk music, instruments, traditional festivals and craft items. He also disclosed that the Punjab Government will soon bring out a cultural policy.
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