State government and Punjab tourism authority in collaboration with United Nations World Tourism Organisation recently organised a workshop in Amritsar to develop rural tourism in the state. Shri Sohan Singh Thandal, Minister, Tourism Department of Punjab inaugurated the event. Smt Anjali Bhawra, Principal Secretary, PHTB, Dr Harsh Verma, Representative, An Maria Makela, S.K Mishra, Chairman, Indian Trust for Rural Heritage and Development, Navtej Pal Singh Randhawa, Project Director were also present at the ceremony
Shri Sohan Singh Thandal said, “To develop the rural tourism in region, we have maintained a master plan from 2008-20 and the work has started.”
He also said that the region has won many awards in the field of rural tourism. The broad objective of conducting the rural tourism workshop is to increase tourist volume and spending in rural area, to share the experience in developing and implementing the rural tourism projects, to discuss the success or failure stories so that the role models can be identified for future development of rural tourism, social and economic benefits of tourism for rural communities, involvement and participation of rural communities in the entire rural tourism development process, empowerment of women, youth and disadvantaged groups through the development of rural tourism and to create awareness among tour and travel operators regarding potential of rural tourism, tourist’s circuits, food and craft trails, in and around established tourist destinations.
The agencies implementing rural tourism projects, NGOs involved in rural tourism, citizens owing rural accommodation, hotel owners and other stakeholders also participated in the workshop.