Lucknow: Plans are afoot to develop theme parks in the country to attract tourists and keep them at a destination for a longer duration, Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kant Sahay said here on Saturday.

"How to hold tourists for a longer duration, so that they stay for two-four days is a big question...there is a proposal to develop theme parks," Sahay told reporters in a joint press conference with Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.

Stating tourism was a major source of employment, he said, "while the agriculture sector provides jobs to 45 people per lakh, tourism provides employment to 78 people as per a Planning Commission finding," he said.

The minister also said that for the first time it has been accepted in the 12th plan that tourism was a major tool in poverty alleviation and employment generation.

After a meeting with the CM and other officials, Sahay said that detailed discussion was held on how to bring UP on the fast track map in the tourism sector.

Stating the Centre and the state would contribute towards developing basic infrastructure, he said revenue generation and sharing would be on a public-private partnership mode.

With the Buddhist circuit being a heritage of UP which tourists from over 13 countries want to visit, Sahay also said, "there is Sufi circuit and Hindu circuit, which are being developed in an integrated way with the participation of the state".

On the law and order situation in the state, Akhilesh said action was always taken by his government against those committing irregularities. "Even in cases of police failure action was taken", he said.

To queries on the Union Forest Ministry raising objections over the Lion Safari project at Etawah, Akhilesh said that it was the Ministry's responsibility to maintain the environment there.


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