Eco-tourism, adventure tourism and homestays have immense potential in Telangana with significant local employment opportunities. Thus it is crucial to harness full potential of niche tourism, said a while paper on tourism released by the CII recently. Telangana is developing two mega circuits for promoting eco-tourism and tribal-tourism. Similar plans should be made for pilgrimage and heritage circuits. The circuit development should include restoration and beautification of heritage forts, palaces, temples and places of religious importance, it said. A tourism advisory council to facilitate industry inputs, emerging trends, project structuring, industry concerns, tourism marketing and investment promotion is also needed, it said. About 85 million tourists visited Telangana in 2017 and the State stood sixth and 16th respectively in the domestic and foreign tourists with a share of 20.8 and 18.08 per cent. Since 2014, the foreign tourists have grown exponentially at 400 per cent from 75,171 to 3.68 lakh in 2017. This rise could be attributed to the promotion of MICE and wellness tourism along with robust infrastructure of the State, the white paper said. The domestic tourists rose from 72 million in 2014 to 85 million in 2017, growing at 18 per cent. The current major tourism themes are – culture, nature and ecotourism, MICE, religious and medical.