The role of monuments in promoting tourism is significant, said the Khadi Board Minister K. Ramachandran while inaugurating a seminar on Protection and Preservation of Monuments jointly organised by the Department of Tourism and the Providence College for Women in Coonoor on Saturday.

Pointing out that Tamil Nadu is a major holiday destination he said that the government is according high priority to heritage tourism by focusing on its monuments like the Big Temple in Thanjavur. He urged the students to supplement the efforts.

Considerable

While the State attracted about 1.58 crore tourists every year, the number of tourists visiting the Nilgiris was about 23 lakh.

Underscoring the need to protect various monuments in the Nilgiris, he said that culture should be preserved for the sake of posterity. Employment generated by tourism was considerable.

The Tourist Officer, the Nilgiris, S. Durairaj regretted that the flow of foreign tourists to India was negligible when compared to other countries. Efforts should be made to increase the foreign exchange earnings through tourism.

He said that Tamil Nadu should be made the most popular tourist spot in the country.

While the Curator, Government Museum K.A. Murugavel spoke on the contribution of museums in promoting heritage tourism, the NSS Programme Officer, Government Arts College, Azhagar Ramanujam highlighted the importance of sculptures and carvings.

The Principal, Maria Goretti Martis presided. Associate Professor Geetha Bai stressed the need to promote green tourism. Faculty members Sudha Christopher welcomed the gathering and Sashi Rekha proposed a vote of thanks.