News: Ministry of Tourism has identified 17 sites in the country for development as Iconic Tourist Sites.
About Iconic Tourist Sites Initiative
- It was announced in Budget 2019-20 by the Finance Minister. The nodal ministry for the implementation of the initiative is the Ministry of Tourism.
- Aim: To develop the selected sites into world-class tourist destinations to serve as a model for other tourism sites.
Features of the project
- Inter-ministerial coordination among Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Railways and Ministry of Civil Aviation.
- Sites to be developed at par with international standards. Interventions in and around the monuments will have elements of universal accessibility, green technology, and enhanced security for tourists.
- Taj Mahal and Fatehpur Sikri (Uttar Pradesh)
- Ajanta & Ellora (Maharashtra)
- Humayun’s Tomb, Red Fort and Qutub Minar (Delhi)
- Colva (Goa)
- Ajmer Fort (Rajasthan)
- Somnath and Dholavira (Gujarat)
- Khajuraho (Madhya Pradesh)
- Hampi (Karnataka)
- Mahabalipuram (Tamil Nadu),
- Kumarakom (Kerala) and
- Mahabodhi Temple (Bihar).
Adopt a Heritage Scheme (Apni Dharohar Apni Pehchan Project):
- Launched in 2017, it is an initiative by the Ministry of Tourism in close collaboration with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). It aims to develop the heritage sites/monuments, make them tourist-friendly to enhance the tourism potential
- Under this scheme, heritage sites/monuments and other tourist sites are entrusted to private players or public sector companies for the development of tourist amenities.
- The Red Fort was adopted by the Dalmia Group, while the Qutub Minar and the Ajanta Caves were adopted by Yatra Online.
Swadesh Darshan scheme: It was launched in 2014-15 by the Ministry of Tourism. It aims at the integrated development of theme-based tourist circuits. Example: Ramayana Circuit, Desert Circuit, Tribal Circuit.
National Heritage City Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY) scheme: It was launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs in 2015. It aims at the holistic development of heritage cities such as Ajmer, Puri, Mathura, Gaya, etc.
Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) Scheme: It was launched by the Ministry of Tourism in 2015. It aims at identifying and developing pilgrim sites across India.