Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today laid foundation stone of Rs. 25 crore Convention Centre at Kiarighat in district Solan. Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Dr. Col. Dhani Ram Shandil was also present on the occasion.Shri Virbhadra Singh said that state government was endeavoring to make Himachal a favorite tourists destination for all seasons. Efforts were also on to use sustainable tourism as a means to provide better employment and self-employment avenues along-with protecting serene beauty and natural heritage of the state.The Chief Minister said the state government had initiated measures to boost tourism industry by inviting private sector investments in the areas of rope-ways, resorts, amusement parks, film cities, mega tourist destinations, civil aviation sector, adventure activities like para-gliding, heli-skiing, water sports etc.He said that thrust was on developing religious, adventure, health, and heritage tourism and rural tourism. Exemption of luxury tax in Home Stay had been extended up to 2018, he added.Shri Virbhadra Singh said efforts of the state government were yielding positive results and there had been constant increase in number of visitors in the state. During the year 2016, over 1.71 crore tourists across the country and world visited the state as compared to 1.60 crore in 2015. Of these, 4.06 lakh foreigner tourists came to Himachal as compared to 3.90 lakh during 2015. The Chief Minister also listened to the public grievances and directed the officers to decide them on priority. Managing Director, HPTDC Shri Dinesh Malhotra detailed the activities of the Corporation. He said that in addition to convention hall, 35 rooms, two seminar halls, parking facility for 136 vehicles would be provided at Kiarighat tourism complex. The convention hall will have the sitting capacity for about 650 people.President DCC Solan Shri Rahul Thakur, Vice Chairman Khadi Board Shri Ramesh Chauhan, Vice Chairman HPTDC Shri Harish Janartha, Chairman APMC Solan Shri Ramesh Thakur, Chief Organiser HP Congress Seva Dal Shri Anurag Sharma, Member BOD HPTDC Shri Surender Sethi and other dignitaries were present on the occasion.