Uttarakhand must harness potential for adventure tourism development, says ASSOCHAM

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English News

Deharadun: Apex industry body ASSOCHAM today suggested the Uttarakhand government to develop three tourist spots in the mountain state on the lines of Switzerland for adventure tourism.

ASSOCHAM has suggested the Uttarakhand government to frame a policy on adventure tourism thereby roping in experts and prepare a master plan after conducting surveys in this regard. While river rafting and other water-based adventure activities are possible in many rivers, trekking, rock climbing, camping in hills and others can bring dividends in form of increased tourist in-flow and more employment opportunities.

“This would not only help in strengthening social and physical infrastructure but will give a fillip to the state’s economy thereby generating significant number of jobs which would also help in arresting the migration of youth population,” said ASSOCHAM secretary general, Mr D.S. Rawat.

“There is a huge demand for activity-based tourism both in India and across the globe and for a state like Uttarakhand dotted with hills, rivers, wide and interesting variety of flora and fauna, there is a huge scope for adventure tourism offering rare and incomparable experiences,” said Mr Rawat.

“Adventure tourism has the potential to support local economies as it attracts high value customers and encourages sustainable practices,” he added.

“Considering that tourists visting adventure tourism sites tend to follow cultural and environmental aspects of such destinations it can greatly aide economic opportunities of local people in rural and remote communities,” further said Mr Rawat.

Tourism picking up after flash floods:

There was a drop of about 26 per cent and about 22 per cent in Indian and foreign tourist arrival in Uttarakhand after the devastating flash floods of June 2013 that triggered intense rainfall which swept away almost everything that stood in the way – agricultural fields, bridges, buildings, dams, livestock, people, roads, entire towns and villages.

However, the process of rehabilitation and rebuilding of Uttarakhand has been going on war footing at a steady pace with participation of all the stakeholders from public and private sectors evidently as Indian and foreign tourist arrival grew by over 10 per cent and four per cent in 2014.

While in 2015 the state registered a growth of over two per cent and about eight per cent in national and foreign tourist arrival.

Though Uttarakhand is world-renowned for plethora of pilgrimage destinations, temples and spiritualism but the state government must now also focus on attracting different types of tourists which would help promote its rich cultural heritage.

As a leading industry body, ASSOCHAM has recommended the state government to conduct tourism sector specific road shows and exhibitions both in the country and abroad thereby showcasing various aspects of the state through new destinations offering special packages.

Besides, the state tourism department can also tie up with local and global television channels catering to hospitality and tourism sector.

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