Source: Hinduism Today
DELHI, INDIA: Developing the potential of pilgrim and cultural tourism in India and taking steps for reconstruction of culturally significant cities can contribute as much as Rs 850,000 crores (US$185 billion) to India's gross domestic product and create 33 million jobs by 2020 says Jagmohan, India's minister of urban development and poverty alleviation minister. He spoke today at the inauguration of Annual Travel and Tourism Summit organized by the Associated Chamber of commerce and Industry, on Tourism: Catalyst for Employment and Economic Growth. To give a boost to ethnic tourism, the urban development ministry has begun implementing special schemes to develop culturally significant towns and cities like Varanasi, Madurai and Puri by reconstructing, repairing and sprucing up historical monuments and civic amenities without burdening the public exchequer. He said that a comprehensive blue print for redevelopment of Varanasi city has been drawn up and its implementation initiated. Generally speaking, tourist travel within India is already religious travel, with most destinations being holy sites.