Himachal Pradesh Is Dedicated To Open International Airport To Target Rich Foreign Tourists
With International airport project warming up in the government circuit, it is important to know how the project finally comes up and what number of high profile foreign tourists bring the difference to tourism sector.
Delhi (I-Newswire) October 23, 2012 - Himachal Pradesh in wake of increasing the tourism business in state is already devising the plans to set up the international airport. The ultimate purpose of building airport is to fetch rich class foreign tourists and entice them to visit the state. With the international airport, Himachal Pradesh will become visible on the global tourism map and it will become easy for the affluent European, Middle East and Western tourists to make direct landing and carry on the further journey.
The hill state has seen a considerable rise in foreign tourists over the last five years. Statistics point out 2.07 lakh foreign visitors came to Himachal Pradesh in 2005, and the number surged to 4.85 lakh in the year 2011. However, the state administration is confident that the number of high status foreign tourists will almost double with the presence of international airport. The talks for building an international airport are on with the center. The state government has identified three sites at Kandaghat in Solan district and Nadaun in Hamirpur district to be ideal for international airport. It is also learned that the tourism and civil aviation department has already submitted weather data to the Airports Authority of India as it would play crucial factor in selecting the precise and favorable location for construction of airport.
Currently, Himachal Pradesh has three domestic airports fully functional at Kullu, Kangra and Shimla, but owing to poor air connectivity many of the tourists are left with no other option but travel by road.
"Himachal Pradesh has enormous potential to attract foreign tourists, particularly those belonging to rich class,'' chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said. He further opined that with the coming of international airport the revenue from tourism will automatically increase and this will help in building the economy of state.
The present projected cost of building airport is likely estimated around Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000 crore. The public private partnership (PPP) mode has been proposed for successful completion of project. At this point, Tourism and civil aviation director Arun Sharma said "approximately 30000-40000 Sheikhs from Arabian countries visit Mumbai every year with the purpose of enjoying the monsoon. The sheiks can easily take the journey to Himachal.'' Arun Sharma further went on and said that the Sheikhs had suggested the idea for starting the chartered flight to Chandigarh or Pathankot, however, this suggestion is not feasible owing to several security reasons.
PHD Chamber's research bureau had also expressed their opinion for the need of setting up of an international airport in the state for making it easy for tourists from Europe and South East Asia to land directly to Himachal Pradesh, instead of waiting for the connecting flights or traveling by road. It is hopeful that the project will begin within a year or two.
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Published On:October 23, 2012
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