Union Minister Sonowal Talks About Boosting Lighthouse Tourism In India

Organised by the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships - an organisation under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW), Govt of India, the meet held in Kerala’s Vizhinijam was aimed at conceptualizing and strategizing to showcase the unique tourism potential of lighthouses as spots of historical, cultural and scenic confluence.
Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal talks about boosting lighthouse tourism in India
Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal talks about boosting lighthouse tourism in India

Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways, Sarbananda Sonowal chaired a Stakeholders Meeting to boost Lighthouse Tourism in the country.

Organised by the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships - an organisation under the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW), Govt of India, the meet held in Kerala’s Vizhinijam was aimed at conceptualizing and strategizing to showcase the unique tourism potential of lighthouses as spots of historical, cultural and scenic confluence.

“More than 500,000 tourists visited the Lighthouses between April and June, 2024, validating the vision of transforming these iconic maritime structures into vibrant tourists hotspots as envisioned by PM Narendra Modi ji,” appraised Shri Sonowal.

The new Sound and Light show in Vizhinijam as well as other facilities for tourists will be developed considering every aspect of convenience, especially for the elderly and specially abled people.

Guided by the visionary approach of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, this meet underscored government’s commitment to promote lighthouse tourism and revitalise these iconic structures as vibrant tourist destinations, said Shri Sonowal.

Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal
Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal

The Stakeholders Meet aimed to showcase the unique tourism potential of lighthouses, emphasising their historical, cultural, and scenic value. It seeks to foster collaboration and partnership among government bodies, tourism agencies, local communities, and private sector stakeholders. The event also highlighted the potential economic benefits for local communities through increased tourism, identify potential challenges and barriers to promoting lighthouse tourism, and motivate stakeholders by underscoring the importance and impact of their contributions.

Speaking on the occasion, Shri Sonowal said, “India, with its diverse geography, brings along tremendous opportunity to showcase our dynamic mix of culture, social ethos and history. Lighthouses, besides acting as marine guidance tool, are also beacon of rich historical accounts with potential to transform as centres of tourism. Under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi ji, the union government decided to celebrate the lighthouses as symbols of rich maritime heritage by developing & promoting them as tourist destinations. The ministry remains committed to revitalise the lighthouses in order to make way for economic development and celebration of cultural heritage of India’s coastline. The stakeholders meet was an attempt to further action to transform the Vizhinijam Lighthouse as a major tourist destination with unique Light & Sound show.”

The stakeholders meeting focused on strategies to transform the lighthouses into tourism facilities. It is to be noted that earlier this year in February, PM Narendra Modi dedicated 75 Lighthouses with tourist facilities in 10 states & UTs. The suggestion to develop these Lighthouses was made by PM Narendra Modi during the 75th episode of Mann Ki Baat. The meet was also attended by the Minister of Tourism, Govt of Kerala, Adv PA Mohammed Riyas among other top officials.

To enhance the visitor experience, several tourism facilities have been developed at Vizhinjam Lighthouse. These include a children's play area, an acupressure pathway, and a musical fountain. A lift facility has been installed, enabling access for persons with disabilities and senior citizens to enjoy the panoramic view from the top of the lighthouse. Additionally, selfie points with animal statues, a cafeteria for tourists, and a gazebo for relaxing have been added, making Vizhinjam Lighthouse a more attractive and accessible destination for all visitors. Battery operated cars are also being put to use for ease of transporting, especially for the elderly and specially abled tourists. With the addition of new facilities, the average monthly footfall of around 15,000 is likely to surge in the ensuing months.

Under the visionary MIV 2030 initiative, the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL) is actively promoting lighthouse tourism across India. This initiative aims to revitalize existing lighthouse facilities by repurposing them for alternative uses, including the development of heritage and maritime museums. Notable transformations include lighthouses in Chennai- Alleppey, Kannur; Vizhinjam, Thangasseri, Vypin in Kerala & Chandrabhaga in Odisha. Furthermore, the Maritime Amrit Kaal Vision 2047 seeks to develop lighthouses as tourist spots, fostering local economies & promoting cultural exchange.

Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal talks about boosting lighthouse tourism in India
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