Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Sunday said Bihar government has developed a multi-pronged action plan to develop tourism sector for economic activities and generation of employment.

Bihar prides itself on its rich cultural heritage and development of infrastructure at tourist sites would give a boost to the sector, Mr. Kumar said after launching the tourism department’s website - www.bihartourism.gov.in

The chief minister said the NDA government, upon assuming power in 2005, had understood the importance of the tourism sector and set out to develop infrastructure like roads and improved law and order situation to woo tourists from across the country and abroad.

As a result, the inflow of the tourists had grown three-fold in the past six years from 66 lakh to 1.86 crore, he said.

It would be desirable if more and more tourists visit rich cultural and religious sites in Bihar as this will boost economic activities and general employment at the local level.

He said much more was required to be done to lay infrastructure like quality roads, hotels, motels and resorts for the benefits of the tourists.

Besides, there should be proper avenue of collection of information about various tourist places for the visitors to enable them to plan their visit in advance, Mr. Kumar said, adding that the tourist department website will be a great enabled to the inquisitive and prospective tourists.

The Chief Minister further stressed on expanding the base of tourist places in Bihar and said that the state government was considering to develop ‘Bapu Circuit’ - places in Bihar visited by Mahatma Gandhi during the freedom movement — to attract tourists from across the country and abroad.

In addition, the state government proposed to excavate historical sites like Balrajgarh in Madhubani district, an age-old mount (tila) near Telhara in Nalanda district among a number of such sites that have not been exploded till date, he said.

Mr. Kumar regretted that it was due to ignorance and discrimination that the tourism sector, like other economic sectors of Bihar, suffered from lack of development since the post-independence years as the successive governments at the centre discriminated against the state.

The tourism sector might have become a lynchpin of the state economy if the central governments had given thrust to its development, the Chief Minister said.