Vijay C Roy
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, May 2
With the tourist inflow hit hard owing to the pandemic, Himachal Pradesh will witness a 55 per cent shortfall in tourist arrival this summer, a serious setback to the state’s tourism economy. The contribution of this sector to the state GDP in 2019-20 was Rs 11,181 crore, which was 7 per cent of the total GSDP.
- The Tribune Interview with CM: 87 pc decline in state’s revenue in April: CM
In 2019, about 1.7 crore tourists had visited Himachal Pradesh (5 per cent more than the preceding year), and 55 per cent of them from mid-March to August.
In an e-mail interview with The Tribune, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, who also holds the Finance portfolio, said the state was expected to see nil tourism this summer season owing to the Covid-induced lockdown. Besides loss of jobs, GST collections too would suffer in a big way.
On steps being taken to support the industry, he said: “Beginning September, extensive and aggressive efforts will be made to revive tourist inflow. We expect 45 per cent tourism from September 2020 to March 2021.”
The CM also said work on the allocated API park at Baddi would be expedited. “We propose to develop 663 bighas in the first phase.” The state government, he said, had already transferred the land in Nalagarh to the Industries Department and the GoI had accorded in-principle approval in November last year. The Department of Industries had now identified 1,487 bighas of adjoining land which was under the process of being transferred.
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