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Lighthouse tourism to draw 25 lakh tourists: Sonowal

The plan seeks to transform these iconic maritime structures into vibrant tourist hotspots.

News Arena Network - New Delhi - UPDATED: July 11, 2024, 07:04 AM - 2 mins read

A lighthouse beach in Kerala's Kovalam.

Lighthouse tourism to draw 25 lakh tourists: Sonowal

A lighthouse beach in Kerala's Kovalam.


Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal announced on Thursday that the central government aims to attract 25 lakh tourists to India's lighthouses within the next five years.

 

The plan seeks to transform these iconic maritime structures into vibrant tourist hotspots.

 

Addressing the media after inspecting the Vizhinjam lighthouse and chairing a stakeholders' meeting to promote Lighthouse Tourism, Sonowal highlighted the significant increase in tourist numbers.

 

"Before 2014, around 3.5 lakh tourists visited lighthouses annually. After initiatives by the Modi government, this number rose to 17 lakh," he said.

 

India boasts 203 lighthouses, of which 75 have already been developed into tourist attractions. "We are committed to developing all remaining lighthouses to draw more tourists," the minister stated.

 

Focusing on the Vizhinjam lighthouse near Kovalam, a popular tourist destination for both domestic and international visitors, Sonowal detailed plans to enhance its appeal.

 

"We will develop Vizhinjam lighthouse into a major tourist centre and integrate it with the tourism flow to Kovalam," he said.

 

The development will include a unique light-and-sound show to attract visitors.

 

At the stakeholders' meeting, Sonowal mentioned that over 500,000 tourists visited lighthouses between April and June 2024.

 

This surge aligns with Prime Minister Modi's vision of transforming these maritime landmarks into vibrant tourist spots.

 

The planned attractions, including the sound-and-light show at Vizhinjam, will be designed with facilities to ensure convenience, especially for the elderly and people with disabilities.

 

The meeting, organised by the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways (MoPSW), aimed to strategise on showcasing the unique tourism potential of lighthouses.

 

These structures hold historical and cultural significance and offer scenic beauty.

 

Discussions focused on forging collaborations and partnerships among government bodies, tourism agencies, local communities, and private sector stakeholders to promote lighthouses as tourist attractions.

 

The meeting also highlighted potential economic benefits for local communities through increased tourism and addressed challenges and barriers to promoting lighthouse tourism.

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