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|November 3, 1999||
New tourism policy likely to focus on Hindu holy sites
Josy Joseph in New Delhi
India's Tourism Minister Uma Bharti is likely to effect changes in the government's tourism policy.
It is learnt that the minister has indicated to senior bureaucrats in the tourism ministry that the present policy has to be reviewed and stress laid on Hindu pilgrimage sites and participation of Non Resident Indians.
According to sources, the minister had expressed dissatisfaction at the existing tourism policy. "She has not given any definite orders, we are waiting for them," a source said.
"If the Vatican can be a leading tourist centre of the world, why not our own pilgrimage sites?" she reportedly asked her officials.
During the last government, Madan Lal Khurana as the tourism minister had stressed on developing sites like Haridwar and Rishikesh into major tourism centres. But no concrete steps were initiated. But Bharti is "very serious", an official remarked.
Apparently, Bharati has also asked the officials to look into possible areas where Non Resident Indians can participate with the development of tourism in the country. "We are yet to work out anything definitely. But we are looking at the possibility of increased NRI participation and other ways of investments," a source said.
The policy formulated under Khurana's guidance had a chapter on eco-tourism. Its fate remains unknown. It also had suggestions for foreign tourists not to wear garments that might be considered indecent in India and not to kiss in public.
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