Government of India launched Scheme for Promotion of Adventure Sports & Similar Activities amongst Central Government Employees (SPASSACGE) in the first week of December 2015. It is a perfect New Year gift for the employees who crave for adventure but do not have money and time. Let’s have a look …
To increase the tourism footfall, the Indian Himalayan states launched new proposals and reviewed the existing in October 2015. Here is the summary of these: Air India Air India and state tourism departments planned to offer Incredible Air India Holiday Packages from December 1, 2015. All four Himalayan states will …
AAI Paragliding World Cup 2015: An Effort to Place India on World Paragliding Map
For the first time, India will host Paragliding World Cup at Bir Billing in Himachal Pradesh from October 23-31, 2015. Ace paragliders from around the world will participate.
The Billing Paragliding Association (BPA) will organize the event. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) will sponsor and promote the event.
Garud Fun – Himalayan Air Festival 2015: Pilots Dress up Like Hindu Deities
The Nepal Air Sports Association (NAA) and the Pokhara Tourism Revival Committee (P.T.R.C.) organized the 2-day-long Garud Fun – Himalayan Air Festival 2015 in Pokhra in the last week of September (26-27) in Sarangot (1,500 meters), Pokhra. One of the top paragliding destinations Pokhra commands views of the Fewa Lake, green slopes, and snow covered peaks.
Sarangot was the take off point and the lake was the landing point.
The first of its kind event in the country promoted air adventures, including hot air ballooning and paragliding. Another primary aim was to tell the prospective tourists and travelers that the country is safe for holidaying even after the devastating April earthquake.
Highlight of the event was paragliders dressed up like Garuda, Hindu flying god, and other Hindu deities, including Laxmi, Paravati, and Shiva.
The country also offered free stay for some participants and free flying permit for foreigners.
In 2012, I wrote about Himachali Home Stay scheme launched in 2008. Here is a quick update on the scheme. Himachal Pradesh Government introduced the scheme, based on Incredible India Bed and Breakfast scheme of the Indian Ministry of Tourism, for the following reasons: To standardize home stay facilities. To create affordable …
In August 2015, Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) and Sports and Youth Services Department, Govt. of Odisha planned a >6,000-meter peak expedition for students and young people (18-25 years) of the state. The department will finance the expedition scheduled for the second half of 2016 in line with its new Scheme …
ADB loans for community based tourism development in Kangra
Department of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Himachal Pradesh received two loans from Asian Development Bank (ADB) for community based tourism development in Kangra District: (1) Nagrota Suriyan Cluster (US$ 155,782.38) (2) Dhameta Cluster (US$ 106,247.50). Both the loans were awarded under Infrastructure Development Investment Program for Tourism (IDIPT) in October 2014.
Design logo representing “Sikkim: Where Nature Smiles,” new tagline of Sikkim Tourism
Tourism and Civil Aviation (CAV) Department, Government of Sikkim launched a design competition that justifies its new tagline: Sikkim: Where Nature Smiles. The design should represent modern and traditional lifestyle of the state. The best two designers will get monetary prizes: INR 15,000 and INR 10,000. However, unfortunately the competition is open just for local (from Sikkim) artists and designers.
The last date to submit the design is August 17, 2015.
The department unveiled the new tagline that matches its rich biodiversity and natural resources in May 2015.
Relocation of Bagdogra Airport
In the last week of July 2015, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) proposed relocating Bagdogra Airport in Darjeeling (West Bengal) to Purnea (Bihar). Purnea is more than 150 kilometers away from Bagdogra. The authority also discussed the idea of shifting the airport with the Indian Air Force (IAF).
4 Reasons to relocate Bagdogra Airport
AAI cited the following reasons for the airport relocation:
- Installation of new Instrumental Landing System (ILS) for night landing requires a huge piece of land within the airport complex.
- The terminal expansion and residential quarter projects also need another big piece of land.
- These expansions are the need of hour because the number of passengers using the airport has soared substantially.
- Previous Gonsainpur land deal did not materialize, thereby delaying and hampering the expansion.
Impact of relocation
The shifting would have direct impact on tourism in Darjeeling and Sikkim and local economy.
Change.org, Inc. started a petition to prevent the relocation.
What is Turning Point in Tourism?
Turning Point in Tourism is an industry event to revive an interaction between Nepali and foreign tour operators after the 2015 earthquake. SAMARTH Nepal Market Development Program (NMDP) hosted the event in Kathmandu in the first week of July 2015. A few American, Asian, Australian, and European tour operators participated in the event. The operators voiced their concern about the following:
- Harmful impact of travel warnings on travel business, including need for high liability travel insurance
- Lack of clarity about destinations that are safe even after the earthquake
They suggested measures to rebuild the confidence in Nepal
- Develop infrastructure.
- Improve tourism service standards and professionalism.
- Promote cultural attractions, including festivals.
- Simplify expedition / trek permit process.
The 2015 earthquake reminded of two major challenges of Nepal tourism sector: safety and quality. These will continue to affect the recovery of the industry in recent future. However, low-end trekking segment may recover faster than the high-end. (Pankaj Pradhananga, Karma Gurung, and Sangam Prasain, 2015)