Bhubaneswar: Bringing cheer to travel enthusiasts, the government has decided to reward people visiting 15 tourist spots in a year by funding their expenses.
Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel said the move should not be construed as a monetary benefit, but as an incentive.
"The tourism ministry will fund the travel expenses of tourists who visit 15 destinations in the country in a year and submit the photos on our website," he said on Friday evening at the concluding ceremony of the two-day National Tourism Conference in Odisha's Konark.
Tourists, however, have to travel outside their home states to be eligible for contention.
"We should honour these people as brand ambassadors of Indian Tourism," Patel added.
The minister also said the Sun Temple at Konark would be included in the list of 'iconic sites'.
A special event will be organised to announce this very soon, he said.
Rupinder Brar, Additional Director General of Tourism, said the ministry has been organising certificate programmes for candidates intending to work as tourist guides.
"But, participation of Odisha in this programme is very low and it needs to be enhanced. The state government should encourage students to take part in the certificate course," she said.
On the concluding day of the conference, jointly organised by the Odisha government and Ficci, a Memorandum of Intent (MoI) was signed between the state and Gujarat for cross-promotion of tourist sites, officials said.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), mentioning the key frameworks and policies, will be signed soon after discussions with relevant departments of both the states, said Sachin Ramchandra Jadhav, Director of Tourism, Odisha.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.