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We must promote tourism but not at the cost of villages: Tourism Secretary

Tourism should be promoted but not at the cost of villages, Union Tourism Secretary V Vidyavathi on Wednesday said as she held an interactive session with a group of sarpanches and gram pradhans from a large number of border villages.

She said adventure tourism is an important segment for the tourism ministry and it has huge potential in the villages chosen under the Vibrant Villages Programme.

Launched as a centrally-sponsored scheme, the programme envisages comprehensive development of identified villages in 46 blocks abutting the northern border in 19 districts of Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and the Union Territory of Ladakh.

Vidyavathi held a session with 300 sarpanches and gram pradhans from the border villages chosen under the programme at Hotel Ashoka here, the Tourism Ministry said in a statement.

On Tuesday, these village heads attended the 77th Independence Day celebrations at Red Fort. They were among the 1,800 special guests invited to the event.

The meeting included discussions on different aspects of tourism, challenges faced by different villages and potential/and solutions for tourism development. The participants discussed topics including infrastructure, community engagement, skill development and environment preservation, it said.

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