Flower show has attracted about 1.70 lakh visitors, says Minister
Udhagamandalam: Considerable importance is being accorded to promotion of tourism in Tamil Nadu, said Agriculture Minister Veerapandi S.Arumugham, while distributing prizes at the 113th annual flower show at the Government Botanical Garden here on Sunday.
Thanks to the efforts of Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi Tamil Nadu was the safest holiday destination, he added.
Pointing out that during 2007-08 the Centre had spent Rs. 27.49 crore and the State Rs. 7.74 crore for implementing tourism related schemes, he said that it had gone up to Rs. 35.92 crore and Rs. 11 crore respectively the following year.
The inflow of visitors to the State was about 6.46 crore including around 20 lakh foreigners during 2008.
The inflow of tourists to the Nilgiris during 2008-09 was nearly 23 lakh. The foreign exchange earnings were significant.
This year’s flower show, which had for the first time been conducted for three days, had attracted about 1.70 lakh visitors.
Mr. Arumugham said that tourist spots should be protected and maintained properly.
He lauded the officials for functioning in an efficient manner.
The Government Rose Garden here would be expanded and the arboretum made more attractive. A piece of land extending over seven acres near the dairy complex here would be converted into a parking lot.
A multi purpose hall would come up on the property belonging to the Agri-Engineering department on Garden Road here.
Khadi Board Minister K.Ramachandran said that facilities for tourists would be improved and steps would be taken to promote tourism in places like Pandhalur and Gudalur.
Director of Horticulture and Plantation Crops B.Chandramohan, who presided, said that the move to extend the days of the flower show had paid rich dividends. It was effectively used to promote floriculture and horticulture.
Former Collector of the Nilgiris Jayanthi said that the Nilgiris should be declared as a Special Tourism Zone.
MLAs B.Gopalan and A.Soundarapandian and Chairman, Ooty Municipal Council, R.Rajendran also spoke. Joint Director of Horticulture A.Sankaran welcomed the gathering.