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Himachal offers capital subsidy to attract investment in tourism sector

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snowfall-shimla-railcarHimachal Pradesh governmnent has given the status of Industry to the tourism and the entrepreneurs setting up tourism ventures are entitled to same incentives as are available to the Industry.

In order to encourage private entrepreneurs for setting up of tourism units, the State Government is providing incentive of 15 per cent Capital Investment Subsidy on Tourism Units subject to maximum Rs. 50 lakhs.

The incentive scheme is effective till 31st March, 2017. New, Hotel units being set up in Tribal areas are exempt from paying luxury tax for a period of 10 years with effect from 1st April, 2012. Similar incentives have been provided to the units being set up in backward Panchayats with effect from 1st April, 2013.

With a view to provide tourists a glimpse of the rich heritage and culture of the State in natural environs, rural tourism and Home Stay Scheme is promoting in a big way. A rural household with minimum one room and a maximum of three rooms can register under the scheme. The registered Home Stay units in the rural areas are exempt from paying VAT, Luxury Tax etc. The water and electricity consumption charges are at domestic rates. Presently, in the State there are about 550 registered Home Stay units. The scheme has been instrumental in generating employment opportunities to the rural population.

State has numerous opportunities for setting up tourism projects in the area of tourist Resorts, Ropeways, Golf courses, amusement parks etc. The Government has created a land bank for setting up of tourism units under PPP mode in the State and the sites are available at Suketi (Sirmaur), Baddi (Solan), Bilaspur, Jhatingari (Mandi), 15 Mile Baragaon near Manali, and at Shoja (Kullu).

In order to promote the alternative mode of transport for the tourists, the sites of Chamunda ji-Adi Himani Chamunda, Dharamshala-Mcleodganj/Triund and Neugal-Palampur in district Kangra, Shahtalai-Deotsidh in district Hamirpur, Toba –Sri Naina Devi ji in district Bilaspur and Tutikandi-Lift-Mall Road Shimla in district Shimla have been identified for setting up of passenger Ropeways in the State on Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. In addition, it has also decided to explore the possibility of setting up Ropeway at Sarahan-Bashal in district Shimla & Kinnaur on public private partnership (PPP).

Nestled in the western Himalayan region,Himachal Pradesh has abundant natural beauty in the form of snow clad peaks, low rolling hills, valleys, rivers & lakes which are a veritable goldmine of tourism activities.

Tourism is one of the main sources of income and employment generation in the State and contributes 9.75 per cent to the State Gross Domestic Product (SGDP).

Adventure tourism, religious tourism, heritage tourism, rural tourism or eco- tourism are some of the areas which has got special attention in tourism development.

For the promotion and development of tourism, the State has framed Sustainable Tourism Development Policy 2013 to establish Himachal Pradesh as a global brand in domestic and international market

The State will also focus on diversification of tourism to the other potential areas where good infrastructure will be created. This will not only reduce pressure in the existing tourist destinations, it will also offer new areas to the tourists.

Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing a financial assistance worth 95 million $ under infrastructure development investment programme for tourism (IDIPT).

The major projects of development under ADB assistance are restoration of Town Hall and beautification of Mall Road at Shimla, Development of Tourist Reception Centre & parking at Chintpurni and development of Jetty, camping sites, tracks and bird watching towers in Pong Dam area. Process for implementation of these mega projects is underway.

There has been a tremendous flow of tourists to the State in last few years. In the year 2013 (January to December) the state was visited by 1, 51, 29,835 tourists including 4, 14,249 foreign tourists while in the year 2012, the state was visited by 1.61 crores tourists, out of which about 5 lakhs were foreign tourists.

This year till June 2014 the State was visited by 83 lakh tourist including about 1, 93,387international tourists.

The State has 2377 registered hotels and guest house with bed capacity of about 61,236.

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