Chennai, December 11: Boosting tourism and engaging people in various skill development activities, the Government of India and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have signed a loan agreement of $31 million to build-up the State Tourism Industry and boost visitor arrivals.
Implying the basic need to sign the agreement was noted that the project will improve the tourism in the state of Tamil Nadu along with its infrastructure. It will further help the state to preserve its natural and cultural heritage. The activities under the project would also boost economic opportunities for the local people paving path for job opportunities.
The agreement was signed by Sameer Kumar Khare, Additional Secretary (Fund Bank and ADB), Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance and Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director for ADB in India.
The project has been aimed to increase tourism traffic generation which will help generate extra jobs in Tamil Nadu, especially through skills training and community-based activities targeting the poor and women.
Approved in September 2010, the $250 million IDIPT aims to build opportunities for local communities and boost local economy by enhancing tourism in three other states – Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand- besides Tamil Nadu. This will be achieved through developing and preserving sites of natural and cultural heritage, and building connectivity, capacity, and infrastructure around State tourist sites.
The central government’s recent three year plan envisages the hospitality, travel, and tourism sector as a major driver of growth and employment. The Agenda recognizes India’s significant potential to increase: (a) the number of arrivals, (b) global presence by leveraging its cultural industries, and (c) capacity to create large-scale jobs among the poorest segments of the population. It identifies key areas for action, including infrastructure, marketing, and skill development, all of which are aligned with the MFF Road Map.
The Project will support the conservation and restoration of eight heritage monuments, one museum, three temples, and a pond. It will build various facilities at the sites, including information centers, rest centers, and toilet blocks, with facilities served by solar-powered lighting and energy efficient lighting. The total cost of the Project is $44.04 million, of which the Government will provide $13.04 million. The estimated completion date is June 2020.