A recent media report has said that Uttarakhand, the country’s only hilly state in the top 10 list in terms of tourist arrivals, is planning big to improve its ranking. The report published in today’s issue of the Business Standard, a reputed business daily of India, says that the state is now considering new stretches for river rafting to promote adventure tourism and looking at support infrastructure through private partnership to make unexplored destinations tourist-friendly.
Given that this would entail several ropeway projects in a big way, the role of private developers is poised to come into deep focus. Currently, Uttarakhand is India’s seventh most preferred tourist state, attracting 4.1 percent of domestic tourists.
Interestingly, Uttarakhand got around 31 million domestic tourists in 2010, up 34 percent from 23.1 million in the previous year. Foreign tourists to the state rose marginally to 0.13 million from 0.11 million the previous year.
The Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board’s CEO told the newspaper that the board was keen to see the state among the country’s top five places by making it preferred destination for both domestic and foreign tourists. “We are promoting adventure sports, traditional yatra route, eco-tourism, and leisure tourism to achieve the goal,” principal secretary Rakesh Sharma and the board’s CEO was quoted as saying.
On promoting unexplored destinations, the board is talking of developing newer tourist circuits Sharma said, “We are getting the necessary backing from the state government, which is developing infrastructure to boost tourism through private partnerships.”
New air routes are also being planned to the tough tourist destinations.
As for marketing campaign, the state tourism board is participating in trade fairs across the globe to attract both foreign and domestic tourists. The idea is to strengthen its relationship with travel and tour operators, who play a significant role in promoting a destination.
In the tourist circles, the state — formed on November 9, 2000 — is known for adventure sports like rafting, skiing and para-gliding; pilgrim spots like Char Dham and the route to Kailash-Mansarovar (in China), besides eco tourism spots like Jim Corbett National Park and Nanda Devi National Park; and leisure destinations such as Nainital and Mussoorie, the report added.