SHIMLA -9th December, 2023-Himachal Pradesh bagged two prestigious awards in the Outlook Traveller Awards-2023 function held at New Delhi Friday late evening. Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu was the Chief Guest on the occasion. He presented awards to the winners of various categories on the occasion.

Himachal Pradesh won awards in Best Adventure Tourist Destination Gold Category for Bir-Billing in Kangra district and Best Eco-Tourism Destination Gold Category for Spiti in Lahaul-Spiti district. Chairman, Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) R.S. Bali received the awards.

Speaking on the occasion, Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu urged the investors to invest liberally in Himachal Pradesh in the tourism sector and added that the state government will facilitate them with speedy approvals and clearances. He said that Himachal is the best tourist destination for all reasons and all seasons as it has the best snowline and snowbound areas, forest area, water bodies, green meadows and luxurious Home stays. The state government will also encourage tourists to enjoy night drives in the picturesque valleys of the state and home stays will also be developed to facilitate their stay enroute besides creating wayside amenities, he said.

The Chief Minister said that the state government was also laying impetus on developing the tourism sector further by developing new destinations, strengthening infrastructure and creating amenities to generate tourist’s interest in the state so that they can plan longer vacations which can fetch greater income to the state. He said that heliports would be constructed near all district headquarters besides expansion of Kangra airport to improve air connectivity. "The government is focusing upon bringing about 5 crore tourists to the state in near future. Kangra district is being developed as the Tourism Capital of the state", said Sh. Sukhu. He added that the government will spend about Rs.3000 crores on creating tourist infrastructure in Kangra district. An International level Zoo will be developed at Bankhandi in Kangra district to encourage tourists interested in wildlife tourism. Himachal is a hub of religious tourism due to famous Shaktipeeths and added that soon it will be a centre of spiritual tourism too. He said that the state was focusing upon developing eco-tourism in a big way as well.

The state government is envisioning to develop Himachal Pradesh as Green State of the country by March, 2026 and taking such measures to promote green energy in the state, said the Chief Minister and added that the State is focusing upon harnessing solar energy, green hydrogen besides other sources of renewable energy to achieve the objective. Efforts are afoot to promote electric vehicles to get rid of diesel vehicles in near future, he reiterated.

Publisher, Outlook Traveller, Ms. Minakshi Mehta welcomed the Chief Minister and other guests.

CEO of Outlook Group, Indraneel Roy also spoke on the occasion.

Interactive sessions were held with representatives of various award winning states.

Tourism Minister of Goa, Rohan Khaunte, Principal Advisor (Media) to the Chief Minister, Naresh Chauhan, OSD to the Chief Minister K.S. Banshtu, Editor of the magazine, Ms Anandita Ghosh were prominent among others present on the occasion.