The tourism in India is set to take a new turn, with the development of 20 more tourist attractions designated as short-halt destinations. Aimed to increase the footfall of foreign tourists, the plan is estimated to cost Rs 500 crore. Tourism Minister Ambika Soni made this announcement at the first Great Indian Travel Bazaar-2008, held in Jaipur city of Rajasthan. She told the reporters that the central government would provide an aid of Rs 25 crore for each monument, which will be used to beautify it.
As per tourism ministry's statement, the aim behind development plan is to enhance the tourist inflows in the specified areas. This, in turn, will lead to economic development and employment generation in and around these places. For the purpose, enhanced investments and an integrated approach have been proposed. With their help, the mega destinations will be developed in such a way that they are able to maximize their potential.
The main sites included in the mega development project are Taj Mahal (Uttar Pradesh), Varanasi-Sarnath (Uttar Pradesh), Bodhgaya-Rajgir-Nalanda (Bihar), Monuments of Delhi (Delhi), Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu), Puri-Bhubaneswar-Konark-Chilka (Orissa), Haridwar-Rishikesh (Uttarakhand), Hampi (Karnataka), Tirupati (Andhra Pradesh), Ajmer-Pushkar (Rajasthan) and Kurukshetra (Haryana) Gangtok (Sikkim).
Other sites designated for this mega project include Charminar area of Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh), Jagdalpur-Tirathgarh-Chitrakoot-Barsoo (Chhattisgarh), Dwarka (Gujarat), Churches of Goa, Ganga Heritage River Cruise Circuit (West Bengal), Vidarbha Circuit (Maharashtra), Aurangabad (Maharashtra) and Amritsar (Punjab). As much as, Rs. 1 billion has already been sanctioned for the project.