81 Uttarakhand villages to become Tourist Villages

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Tourist Villages

To restraint migration from the hills and to help generating income for the local residents of Uttarakhand, The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is planning to develop 81 villages in the state  as Tourist Villages where local residents will be provided training sessions on cooking, hospitality and guided tours. Nearly 38 villages in the state have been selected in the first phase of a project subsidize by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

R K Joshi, director, Infrastructure Development Investment Program of ADB, said, “We will provide for the infrastructure that is lacking in these villages. We have also tied up with marketing firms who will promote the villages on their websites so that a steady flow of tourists and revenue for the villages is ensured.”

Joshi added, “We have also hired a number of agencies and NGOs which will assess the potential of villages for the project (tourist villages) as well as conduct training sessions for the locals.” Founder director of Village Ways, an organization that has been roped in for the project, Manisha Pandey, said, “We will be advising the state government on the feasibility, market potential and report on the work done by the government to promote rural tourism by December. We will also assess the training requirement and link up village communities with trained professionals.”

Bharat Patwal from Pauri, Garhwal based Institute of Development Support, an NGO, said, “There are many houses which are lying abandoned due to migration in these villages. We will create home-stays after registering them with the tourism department. Those villagers who want to run home-stays and need financial assistance can get subsidized loan under state government schemes (tourist villages).”

The villagers will be provided seven-day training in cooking, hospitality, guided tours and will be taken on field visits to Himachal Pradesh for Study.

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