To give a major fillip to tourism in Punjab and promote rural tourism in the state , the government has identified a cluster of four villages namely Katli, Bahadarpur, Tibba Tapparian and Ranjitpura Bas in district Rupnagar which would be developed with the entire infrastructure needed to provide a 'new experience' to the tourists visiting the State. Stating this here today, Sarwan Singh Phillaur, Tourism and Cultural Affairs Minister Punjab said that this area of interest possessed unique tourism attributes of predominantly rural natural heritage, around the picturesque environs of the Sutlej which is one of the world’s greatest rivers. The main objective of rural tourism would be to bring tourists closer to the rich cultural heritage of Punjab, said the Minister.Adding further he said that tourism around the world in general and in India in particular was expected to be on an upswing. A report by Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ASSOCHAM) anticipated tourism sector to grow till 2019 by as much as 8.8% per year, developing as second largest employer in the world with about 40 million jobs, placing India at the third position in world tourism market with capital investment worth US$ 94.5 billion by 2019 in tourism and travel sector. Expressing pleasure over the Punjab tourism showing 5.29 per cent growth in 2011, the Minister gave credit to strong domestic and foreign arrivals. Punjab welcomed 10.11 million tourists in 2011 comparing to 10.05 million in 2010, said Phillaur. The department has taken a number of initiatives to boost tourism in Punjab. Tourism board has chalked out plan to increase tourist activity in the state by introducing novel ideas like farm tourism, religious tourism, rural tourism and eco-tourism taking tourism to a wider perspective, he added.