While presiding over the 155th meeting of Board of Directors of Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation (HPTDC) here today, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur stressed for adopting more pro-active and professional approach to make the HPTDC units profitable and viable in the State.Jai Ram Thakur said that the Covid-19 pandemic has adversely affected the tourism industry in the State. He said that the Corporation succeeded to earn revenue of Rs. 18.42 crore during the period of 1st April to 30th November, 2020 as compared to Rs. 63.24 crore earned during the corresponding period of last year. The Corporation also provided its property to the State Government for providing quarantine facilities during the pandemic thereby earning about Rs. 70 lakh.The Chief Minister said that the Corporation should set defined parameters and focused targets for bringing in professionalism in its working. He said that targets of occupancy and booking must be fixed and to inculcate the spirit of competition, the same could be linked with incentives. Jai Ram Thakur said that with opening of Atal Tunnel Rohtang, unprecedented flow of tourists had been witnessed in Kullu and Lahaul-Spiti districts. He also felt the need to provide better facilities to the tourists visiting these areas and said that more stress must be laid on providing boarding and lodging facilities to the tourists from Sissu to Keylong in Lahaul-Spiti district. He said that local residents should be motivated to go for home stay scheme of the government which would not only strengthen their economy but also provide the tourists glimpse of rich and unique tribal culture and life style.
The Chief Minister said that HPTDC should also explore possibilities of providing tentage accommodation and pre-fabricated structures to the tourists at Jispa and Sissu. He said that the Chander Bhaga hotel of the Corporation at Keylong should be renovated and expanded for facilitating the tourists. He also felt the need to provide better way side facilities to the tourists’ particularly en route major tourists destinations.Jai Ram Thakur said that the corporation had also allowed 40 percent discount in tariff in all its properties till 31st March next year, whereas earlier 25 to 40 percent discount was provided to the tourists. He said that due to all these initiatives despite COVID-19 restrictions the occupancy in properties of corporation picked up. He said that keeping in view the pandemic; the guests were served various immunity boosting dishes.The Chief Minister said that the corporation may consider leasing out few properties incurring losses for years together which would earn additional revenue to the corporation besides services of staff deployed could be utilized elsewhere.He said that similarly few way side amenities not functional for longer period should be either handed over to different departments or leased out in the benefit of the corporation.Jai Ram Thakur said that more stress should be laid for providing training to the existing staff of the Corporation so that they could provide better services to the customers.Secretary Tourism Devesh Kumar assured the Chief Minister that the corporation would work with greater professionalism and commitment to achieve the desired results. Managing Director, HPTDC Kumud Singh conducted the proceedings of the meeting. Chief Secretary Anil Khachi, Additional Chief Secretary Finance Prabodh Saxena, Principal Secretary to Chief Minister J.C. Sharma, Director Tourism and Civil Aviation Yunus and other senior officers attended the meeting.