Last month Uttarakhand Tourism took a number of steps to woo tourists that skipped the State after 2013 natural disaster. Here are some of the steps taken for promoting adventure, cultural, and religious tourism:
1. The Ultimate Uttarakhand Himalayan MTB Challenge 2015
Uttarakhand Department of Tourism and Cycling Federation of India will host 9-day Ultimate Uttarakhand Himalayan Mountain Bike Challenge 2015 (http://mtbuttarakhand.co.in/) from May 6. The 576-kilometer challenge will start from Nainital in the Kumaon Himalayas and end in Mussoorie in the Garhwal Himalayas. The cycling route will pass through eight (8) of thirteen (13) districts of the state. The cyclists will therefore get a glimpse of more than half of the state.
2. Tents for Kedarnath Pilgrimage Trek
The government invites business community to provide tents cum kitchens at Lincholi and Chani along Sonprayag-Kedarnath trek route.
3. The National Board for Wildlife approved an aerial ropeway connecting Ghangari and Hemkund Sahib in Uttarakhand to increase tourism.
4. Russia and Uttarakhand meet to discuss joint tourism promotion
Officials from Russia and Uttarakhand met to discuss ways to promote tourism in the State. The officials emphasized on
- infrastructure development,
- promotion of yoga and adventure sports,
- publicity campaigns focusing on Russians because they do not know much about the State, and
- an interaction between tour operators of the two countries.
5. Naina Devi Himalayan Bird Conservation Reserve (NDHBCR)
Uttarakhand would set up a new bird conservation reserve NDHBCR. This largest reserve of the State would cover 120 square kilometers of area in Kosi and Nainital-Naina forest ranges.
The government would develop it as an eco-tourism destination to cash in on the scenic forests that are home to scores of birds, including endangered species. Pangot, Kilbari, and other popular bird watching spots are not far away from the reserve featuring the finest oak forest.
6. On March 1, 2015, 7-day annual International Yoga Festival was organized in Rishikesh, the yoga capital of India.
7. The government proposed a center for tourism development at Sri Dev Suman University.
8. State Budget 2015-16
Highlights of the budget include:
Air links within the state to increase connectivity
Tourism mega circuits to create employment
2015 as the Year for Tourism: Under this new initiative, two schemes have been proposed:
- Gramin Paryatan Uthan Yojana to help the villagers in creating tourism products and services to eke livelihood
- Skiing centers at Dayara Bugyal (Uttarakashi) and Khaliya Top (Munsyari) for more adventure activity options
INR 200.59 crore for the tourism department
Promotional visits to heritage sites for cultural awareness
Promotion of lesser known festivals and fairs
A metro train service within district of Dehradun
9. Road to Milam Glacier
Border Roads Organization (BRO) laid more than half of fifty-five-kilometer-long motorable road between Munsiyari and Milam Glacier Village: Milam-Rilkot (14 kilometers) and Munsiyari-Dhapa (17 kilometers).
Although a hard rock between Rilkot and Lolam has slowed down the construction work, the organization may complete the road by 2018.
The largest glacier in Kumaon Milam is the source of the Gori River and a popular trekking destination. The road would stimulate adventure tourism and facilitate connectivity between the border and the rest of the State for defense personnel.
10. Surakshit Uttarakhand campaign
The government launched Surakshit Uttarakhand campaign to regain confidence of the tourists who avoided the state after 2013 natural disaster.
11. Biking and cycling tracks
The government planned biking and cycling tracks across the State.