ATOI, IMF, MOT plan Brand Himalayas

Duttagupta, Ishanl. (April 22-28, 2012). Himalayan Task. The Economic Times on Sunday.

This article compared current status of adventure tourism in the Indian Himalaya with huge possibilities and potential. Although the Indian Himalaya has the largest number of technically challenging and unclimbed peaks, international mountaineers do not plan expeditions to these peaks. Estimated revenue from the Himalayan adventure tourism accounts for less than 10% (approximately INR 700.00 crore) of the total turnover of the Indian tourism sector.

The author highlighted the factors responsible for small number of climbers visiting to the Himalaya:

  • absence of 8,000-meter peaks except Kangchenjung, which is  a sacred peak,
  • bureaucratic problems, including special visa and permits required for climbing in non-open areas,
  • excessive paperwork required for obtaining climbing permits,
  • and different types of additional fees levied by the Sikkim and Uttarakhand state governments.

The Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOI), Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) and Ministry of Tourism (MOT) planned to develop Brand Himalayas. These authorities have taken the following measures to promote adventure tourism:

  • More than 210 peaks have been declared as speed-track peaks. X visas are not required for these peaks and permission for these peaks is quickly available.
  • One thousand peaks in unrestricted area are identified to be promoted as trekking peaks. Read the full article.

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