The Chhattisgarh Tourism Board (CTB) is aiming to put the tribal-dominated state on the country’s tourism map as the biggest eco-tourism hub by highlighting its exquisite natural beauty and varied flora and fauna.
The Board has created a blueprint for future tourism which looks to establish Chhattisgarh as a eco-tourism destination with greater participation of local communities thereby helping to counter the menace of Naxalism in the disturbed zone.
“Chhattisgarh which has 44 per cent of forest cover is a boon for eco-tourism. Thus enhanced tourism by ways of earmarked tourism plans will enable us to develop tourism in the state in a never-seen-before magnitude,” CTB’s Managing Director Santosh Kumar Mishra told PTI.
“Our aim is to develop Chhattisgarh as India’s biggest eco-tourism hub. With our future venture, we seek to see greater participation of the local community that will be the most focused tool to counter Naxalism,” he said.
The Board has recently got Rs 113.5 crore project prioritisation from Union Ministry of tourism.
“A major chunk of this amount will be used in eco-tourism projects,” he said.
Initially focus will be on Gangrel Dam, considered the largest water body in the state and promoting Sirpur-Kodar-Raipur-Tandula as an eco-tourism circuit, he said.
Besides, archaeological sites of Sirpur and at Bhoramdeo, popularly known as Khajuraho of Chhattisgarh, will also be developed along with focus on rural tourism and promotion of fairs and festivals, Mishra said.
State’s Tourism and Culture Minister Ajay Chandrakar said Chhattisgarh is a vibrant state which now looks forward towards developing tourism as one of its richest assets.
He said the Board would prioritise and also promote state’s rich and diverse tribal culture along with unexplored tourism circuits.
Chhattisgarh bagged the National Tourism Award 2012-13 for the publication of best tourism literature.
Sources said Ashish Khetan will be the vice-chairman of the commission.