White coral beaches of Lakshadweep and the tropical lushness of Andaman & Nicobar have been identified as tourismgrowth zones with nine islands selected as part of a Niti Aayogmasterplan.
The islands are being seen as drivers of tourism and sustainable economic development on the lines of countries like Singapore+ that use water parks and natural resources to promote tourism, overcoming limited land areas while being mindful of conservation. Given ecological sensitivity of the islands, capacities will be limited, though current options for tourists will be improved.
Options in Lakshadweep+ , which is seen as a high-end tourism destination, are limited compared to Andaman & Nicobar. Among the islands identified are Smith Island, Ross Island, Avis Island and Long Island in Andaman & Nicobar. In the Lakshadweep, Bangaram, Thinnakara, Suheli, Cheriyam and Minicoy are among those slotted for development. Tourist facilities in Lakshadweep are currently limited to Bangaram and a few other islands.
"We are working on a masterplan for sustainable development of the nine islands," said Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.