Punjab inks MoU with UN tourism agency
THE Punjab government today inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, for the formulation of a tourism development master plan for the state. "Punjab has a tremendous tourism potential which needed to be tapped optimally," said Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal. Punjab principal secretary, tourism, Geetika Kalha and executive director of UNWTO Harsh Verma signed the memorandum. Having identified tourism as one of the major sectors, the state is committed to achieve a high degree of sustainable development with optimum utilization of rich and wide variety of tourism resources. The plan would be prepared for next 15 years, which would define the tourism policy and strategy, identify tourism products and services and develop these besides a five-years marketing action programme, two pilot demonstration projects and a training programme on destination development and management. The project would also include series of initiatives to bring together the tourism private sector and the Government to realize its full potential, said Mr. Verma. Punjab's tourism resources cover an extensive range of religious, heritage and cultural, natural, medical and commercial tourism.