In February 2015, Uttarakhand took the following steps to revive tourism:
1. Himalaya Darshan by Helicopter
Uttarakhand Civil Aviation and Tourism Department launched the Himalaya Darshan by helicopter from Sahastrdhara helidrome. The 45- and 90-minute sorties for a closer view of the Himalayan peaks cost INR 5,000 and INR 10,000 respectively. These subsidized sorties have been created for budget tourists. Currently, the service is available on weekends (Saturday and Sundays). The ride will initially show
- Bhagirathi, Bhrigu Pant, Chaukhamba, Kamet Parvat, Swargrohoni, Trishul, and Vasuki Parvat peaks and the ranges and
- Valley of Flowers, Kedar Ghati, Gangotri, and Yamnotri regions.
National Defense College (NDC) proposes online registration for the program and a hill aviation service.
2. The state also planned honeymoon and family tour packages and mulled over introducing pilgrimage by choppers.
3. 2nd Uttarakhand Adventure Car Rally in Family Format
The Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board and the Himalayan Motorsport Association organized the 2nd Uttarakhand Adventure Car Rally on Dehradun-Auli-Ramnagar-Dehradaun route during February 1-4. The aim of the 1000-kilometer trial (Time, Speed, and Distance (TSD)) edition of the rally was to promote Uttarakhand as an eco-adventure tourism destination. The rally of 35-teams followed family format. So the rally participants could also bring their children and spouse.
Early entry fee was INR 25,000 for two persons, inclusive of three days’ accommodation and breakfast.
4. Winter Games Association and Garhwal Mandal Vikas Nigam Ltd hosted Auli Winter Skiing Carnival & Open Championship 2015 during February 20-23.
5. 2nd Uttarakhand Spring Bird Festival
The Uttarakhand Forest Department’s Ecotourism Wing organized 2nd Uttarakhand Spring Bird Festival (USBF) during February 4-8 to promote the state as a bird watching destination. The festival held at Pawalgarh Conservation Reserve in Nainital district has multiple objectives:
- Creating awareness about bird watching,
- Promoting community-based tourism,
- Training bird watching guides,
- Waste management, and
6. Uttarakhand chewed over developing medical tourism on the basis of public private partnership model. Rishikesh, Haridwar, Tehri, Munsayari, Kasuani, Nainital, Chopta, and Auli might be developed for medical tourism.
7. Uttarakhand instructed government-run tourist bungalows and guesthouses to introduce traditional Uttarakhandi food, Jhangore ki kheer, kaaphuli, and phaanu (a preparation of lentils), in the menu.
8. Uttarakhand launched its micro small and medium enterprise (MSME) policy for the first time to give a push to entrepreneurship. Tourism is one of the potential sectors entitled to incentives as the policy.
9. Uttarakhand plans to extend Mumbai-Delhi flight service of Jet Airways to Dehradun.
10. A convention center is being built in Dehradun to cater to MICE tourists.
11. One-year tax holiday for hotels located on Char Dham yatra route
12. The state government offers 25% subsidy for Kedarnath helicopter sorties for senior citizen pilgrims.
13. A ropeway to Kedarnath is under construction. Currently, Kedarnath has three helipads.
14. Madh Maheswar and Jageshwar, two more dhams are being developed.
15. Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttarakhand participated in One World Travel Mart (OTM) 2015 during February 4-6, 2015 in Mumbai.