Ut­tarak­hand on the front foot

Tourism in Ut­tarak­hand con­tin­ues to wit­ness steady growth, but there is more on the cards. The state’s tourism depart­ment is tak­ing up sev­eral ini­tia­tives such as ex­pan­sion of in­fra­struc­ture, in­tro­duc­tion of new ac­tiv­i­ties, and de­vel­op­ment of the lo­cal co

TravTalk - India - - STATES -

The state of Ut­tarak­hand, home to mighty Hi­malayan sum­mits and the holy rivers Ganga and Ya­muna, has a num­ber of of­fer­ings for tourists. While pil­grim tourism in the state has thrived, there still lies more po­ten­tial that is be­ing iden­ti­fied, de­vel­oped, and pro­moted by Gov­ern­ment of Ut­tarak­hand. Giv­ing an in­sight into Ut­tarak­hand’s tourism depart­ment’s vi­sion for the state, Sat­pal Ma­haraj, Min­is­ter, Tourism, Gov­ern­ment of Ut­tarak­hand, says, “We have set a vi­sion for 2030. We hope to have an in­ter­na­tional air­port near Rishikesh that will have Lumpur, Lon­don, New York, etc, con­nec­tiv­ity with the rest of the world. We re­quire an ad­di­tional presently, our do­mes­tic air­port in Dehradun is com­pletely to the front of the air­port so we can­not ex­pand it any fur­ther.” A rail­way line be­tween be­twe Rishikesh and Kar­naprayag, Karna close to the holy tow town of Badri­nath, nath, is also be­ing c con­structed, says the Min­is­ter. T These all­weather weather roads will h help make travel to the hills eas­ier, eas thereby boost­ing the scope of tourism even fur­ther. Ut­tarak­hand’s land­scape land is quite di­verse, of­fer­ing trav­ellers a taste of dif­fer­ent dif­feren ad­ven­ture ture sports, s year-round. year Lev­er­ag­ing Le this rich to­pog­ra­phy is on the state’s tourism agenda and for that, build­ing good in­fra­struc­ture tops the state’s to-do list. “We want to pro­mote trekking, es­pe­cially among the lo­cal peo­ple. We also want more home­s­tays, maybe pod ho­tels, too. The state has sul­phur springs and wa­ter springs, so a ho­tel around that will also be a good at­trac­tion for tourists. Pro­mot­ing med­i­cal and well­ness tourism in the state is also a propo­si­tion. The spir­i­tual town of Rishikesh, the land of tem­ples and pil­grim­age sites, also of­fers ad­ven­ture lovers a plethora of ex­cit­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to test their skill. The ashrams and med­i­ta­tion cen­tres in Rishikesh help at­tract mul­ti­tudes of do­mes­tic and in­ter­na­tional tourists.” Be­sides ad­ven­ture tourism, the state is also an ideal des­ti­na­tion for those seek­ing peace and tran­quil­lity, while also ex­pe­ri­enc­ing the cul­ture and re­li­gions of In­dia. Tourists from all over the world come to the state for trekking, moun­taineer­ing, river raft­ing, paraglid­ing, bungee jump­ing and ski­ing. “Cur­rently, we have a lot of do­mes­tic tourists be­cause of the char-dham ya­tra. We want to dis­perse the crowd of re­li­gious trav­ellers a bit and make them visit other places as well. For this, we are ac­tively ad­ver­tis­ing and in­tro­duc­ing new ac­tiv­i­ties. For in­stance, in Auli, we're in­tro­duc­ing new ac­tiv­i­ties such as rope­ways for kids. A new con­ven­tion cen­tre is also be­ing con­structed in Dehradun. We will also de­velop the Bud­dhist Cir­cuit and have a num­ber of des­ti­na­tions un­der this unit.” One chal­lenge that the state tourism depart­ment is look­ing to over­come is the pro­mo­tion of tourism amongst the lo­cal com­mu­nity, says the Min­is­ter. “Peo­ple do not un­der­stand the po­ten­tial of lo­cal tourism. We want to have pro­fes­sion­als come over and make them train the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion.”

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