Enthused by a higher tourist footfall at historic lighthouses of Mahabalipuram and Cannanore, the central government is planning to develop 78 lighthouses including the lighthouse as Chandrabhaga,Odisha as tourist attractions under the public private partnership (PPP) model.
According to the shipping ministry, it has drawn up plans with the Directorate General of Lighthouses and Lightships (DGLL) to tap into the opportunities to promote tourism at these sites.
The identified lighthouses are in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Lakshadweep, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, West Bengal and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
The ministry elaborated that the land adjacent to these lighthouses can be used to develop hotels, resorts, viewing galleries, maritime and heritage museums among other facilities to attract tourists.
The DGLL has already invited request for qualifications (RFQ) from prospective and potential developers for eight lighthouses. An expression of interest (EOI) has also been issued by DGLL for another 70 lighthouses.
Apart from their traditional role as a navigation guide to the shipping industry, the lighthouses are being developed as tourist destinations due to their scenic and serene surroundings and rich maritime heritage.
“Currently, India has 189 lighthouses along its 7,517 km long coastline.”
Among all the lighthouses in the state, the one at Puri overlooking the sea beach draws maximum footfall. On an average, around 40,000 travelers visit the lighthouse annually. The lighthouses at Chandrabhaga and Gopalpur attract 20 to 25 tourists per day, while travelers rarely visit the False Point lighthouse located in Batighar village on the bank of river Kharinasi in Kendrapara.
Steeped in rich maritime heritage, each lighthouse has its own story to tell and has tremendous tourism potential to be tapped. The world over, lighthouses attract tourists with their scenic and serene surroundings and rich maritime heritage.
Courtesy: Business Standard