Uttarakhand to focus on homestay, Eco-tourism

Tourism sector in Uttarakhand is moving from being hotel-based to one focusing on homestay and eco-tourism and the state is trying to promote a vision that seeks to not disturb the “fragile ecology” of the Himalayan region, said a senior official of the hill state.

It is “one of the fastest growing sectors” and the hill state’s maximum revenue comes from tourism, Ashwin Pundir, Addition Chief Executive Officer (Adventure) in the Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board (UTDB), stated in an interaction with PTI here after announcing the inaugural Tehri Acro Festival to be held later this month.

India’s first international aerial acrobatic show will be held in Tehri from November 24-28.

Pundir made the announcement about the upcoming festival in a press conference held in New Delhi.

“We are basically a tourist-based state and we have nature’s bounty, the fast-flowing river, mountains, glaciers and water bodies. So, as far as flying is concerned, we saw that these are the things on which could capitalise. And, the footfall has been steadily increasing, especially post-Covid I would say. Even during Covid, our track record of adventure sports was pretty high,” he said.

“The purpose of holding an acrobatic festival is Tehri, we have realised, has the potential to become a world-class acrobatic flying destination. Our Indian pilots go abroad, spend a lot of money in Turkey, and Italy, and fly over water. We can also call it a safety course, but mainly it’s a thrill factor-based acrobatic flying.”

Uttarakhand is looking at a huge volume of inbound traffic of foreign flyers coming to this destination, he said.

“Because, obviously it will be cheaper, and they will give all the facilities there,” he said.

“And, it’s a very very thrilling destination…And then it is the rejuvenation of the local economy and the social development goals for the local population around the peripheral areas of Tehri,” the UTDB official said.

“That is our efforts to have a resurgence in general tourism, specifically in adventure tourism to impact the growth of our state in the tourism segment,” he added.

Asked how the hill state is endeavouring to balance between tourism infrastructure growth and preservation of nature, Pundir said, “We are moving more from hotel-based economy to homestay-based economy and eco-tourism, where our concepts and policies leave no trace.” “So, while that is happening, we are also into the education of tourists to not litter and keep the area neat and clean,” he added.

Besides, “as one knows that natural disasters are a part and parcel of the Himalayan region”, steps are being taken so as to not disturb the fragile ecology of the region, the UTDB official said.

“Of course, footfall is one of the key issues, so we have to keep a balance between the aspirations of the locals and the tourists, both, and what the government wants, in terms of certain policy level regulations and implementation of safety…one of the key factors,” he said.

“Overall, it is the general education of people, that is when you come to such a beautiful place, you see the AQI of the region, which in itself a big attractant to people of Delhi-NCR, seeing the condition which is prevalent right now,” he said “Wherever you have such an AQI and such a beautiful location, let’s enjoy it and let’s keep it at that pristine level,” he said.

Delhi’s air quality worsens in October and November due to a number of man-made pollution sources and meteorological factors.

(Source: PTI)


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