INDIA: Glacier tourism, popular in Europe and North America is not so common in India and neighbouring countries like Nepal, Tibet, and Pakistan in spite of a great number of glaciers in the Himalayas. Glacier tourism is an important tourism niche in the European Alps, the Pyrenees, the Rocky Mountains, the South Island of New Zealand, etc. Availability of better infrastructure, equipment, and the increase of leisure time, glacier tourism destinations have extended to the North and South Pole high latitude areas, and have achieved good commercial economic benefits. It’s a wondrous experience entering the belly of a glacier and seeing the sculptures and lights playing hide and seek inside the glacial cave.
India has great potential for this important niche in nature-based tourism. The rich and diverse glacial landscape of the Himalayas with myriad shapes and magnificent scenes is distributed across diverse morphological landscapes such as ice waterfalls, ice river/lakes, glacier shaft, crevasse, glacier arch, ice mushroom (ice table), ice Bridge, icicle, ice curtain, ice cliff, etc.
Glaciers are made of snow that has compressed into thick ice masses with time over many years. They are mesmerising natural spectacles and are great tourist attractions. Their spectacular shapes, size, ever-changing nature, and colours are truly unique experiences.
Glacier tourism is a great opportunity for sightseeing, fitness, scientific research, and popular science education. Glaciers are a paradise for nature lovers as you can indulge in a lot of outdoor activities like ice fishing, snowshoeing, etc.
The glacial areas provide opportunities for tourism, farming, waterworks, and forestry. This also gives an opportunity to local people who live in towns around glaciers to earn by providing tourists with accommodation and other services.
Last chance tourism
Traveling to destinations at risk of disappearing is a relatively new phenomenon and is known as last chance tourism. Like every other adventure sport, glacier tourism has disadvantages too and is classified under the last chance tourism due to its ill impacts of climate change. Climate warming has led to the rapid melting and retreat of glacier landscapes, and today many glacier landscapes face the prospect of disappearance.
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