A seminar on “role of media in tourism development”, sponsored by Manali Hoteliers Association, was organized by Himachal Pradesh Journalist Union (HPJU) on Wednesday at Manali .
President of the HPJU and senior journalist Dr Shashi Bhooshan said that tourism is important for economic, social and cultural development of the society. He said tourism will help increase the income sources of the people of the state. Saying that tourists are able to see only those limited places in the state which were being visited 30-40 years ago, he expressed his concern over the development of the new and hidden places of the state. He added that state has a vast tourism potential if new places are explored and opened for tourists.Dr Shashi Bhooshan emphasized upon the development of temples, lakes, dresses, dishes and forts of the state. He said that on the line of Rohtang pass, ski slopes of Chanshal, Chuddhar, Srikhand, Kinner Kailash and Muraldanda should be developed. He further added that media should play its vital role in reaching out to the people to promote these places and increase the tourism in the state.
In this seminar ,detailed discussion was conducted on various ways of promotion of tourism in Himachal Pradesh. It was decided that a vision document for development of tourism will be prepared based on the discussion in the seminar.Anup Thakur, president, Manali Hoteliers’ Association, who was the chief guest of the seminar, said that moral duty of the hoteliers was not limited to construction of hotels and restaurants, but they should contribute towards development of that area. Thakur said that organizing this seminar was important for the development of the tourism. He said local residents can benefit from tourism directly if they offer better services to the tourists. Saying that media put direct impact on the tourism, therefore media should work effectively for the betterment of the area and tourism.He further added that government did not put any effort for the development of tourism in Manali. He adds, “Hoteliers have worked hard to promote local tourist spots and to draw tourists to Manali. Condition of national highway – 21 is not being improved despite repeated requests. Bhuntar airport of Kullu is not getting regular sorties and the airstrip is not being expended. This is the reason that tourists are forced to pay huge amount of sixteen thousand as an airfare between Delhi and Bhuntar which is four time the airfare of Delhi-Srinagar and other destinations.”Deputy director, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Ashwani Kumar, general secretary, Himachal Pradesh Journalist Union, Pravinder Sharma, vice president Mohan Lal Relingpa, president of Kullu unit of the union Mohan Singh Boktapa, patron of Manali Hoteliers’ Assocation BS Kapoor, senior journalist Jagmohan Sharma also spoke on the occasion.