India plans to drive Ganges tourism

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Dr Mahesh Sharma creates committee to develop tourism in Varanasi

India’s government has developed an action plan for the promotion of tourism at Varanasi, on the River Ganges.

Dr Mahesh Sharma, the country’s Minister of Culture, Tourism & Civil Aviation, has said that the government will create a coordination committee for the promotion of tourism and culture in Varanasi. The pledge came after a seminar on pilgrimage and spiritual tourism, which was held in Varanasi on Saturday, entitled “Opportunity abounds along the Ganges”.

Dr Sharma said that the committee would include the secretaries of the ministries of tourism, culture and civil aviation, plus local representatives and experts in the relevant fields. The committee will submit an action plan by 15 April 2015, which is then expected to be implemented within three months.

The minister added that aspects of visitor safety and hygiene would be included in the action plan.

Earlier, addressing local hoteliers and tour operators at the seminar, Dr Sharma urged them to utilise the opportunity of spiritual and religious tourism along the Ganges. He also hoteliers to take care of the city’s ghats – the stone steps that lead into the river.

Located in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Varanasi is a key destination on the Ganges.

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