New Delhi, Aug 31 (IANS) Aiming to provide a 'better experience' to tourists, the government Thursday approved plans to merge two existing schemes for developing tourism circuits and destinations while raising the allocation for selected projects several fold.
'The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs has approved the merger of the two existing schemes for assisting tourism infrastructure development,' Information and Broadcasting Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi told media here.
The 'Integrated Development of Tourist Circuits' and 'Product/Infrastructure and Destination Development' will be merged and will be called the 'Product/Infrastructure Development for Destinations and Circuits'.
'The ceiling on the project cost for tourism infrastructure development concerning the identified destinations and circuits would be raised with the government of India's contribution to be capped at Rs.250 million for destination development and Rs.500 million for circuit development instead of existing Rs.50 million and Rs.80 million for selected projects,' the minister said.
The selection of the identified circuits and destinations would be based on the tourist traffic.
The government estimates that the approved revision will lead to the development of world-class tourism infrastructure in at least 15 identified major tourist destinations/circuits in the country.
In addition, one major circuit and two major destinations per state will also be taken up, as prioritised in consultation with the concerned states and union territories.
'The implementation of this scheme will result in a better experience for the tourists visiting these places,' said Dasmunsi.
This increase in the tourist traffic is expected to result in more employment and improved socio-economic conditions for the region.
India currently receives around 3.5 million visitors annually from overseas while the domestic traffic is estimated to be well over 10 million.