INDIA. New Delhi: Today is the penultimate day for the event titled, “Ladakh: New Start, New Goals” that is being organised by the Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India in collaboration with the Department of Tourism, Administration of Union Territory of Ladakh, and Adventure Tour Operators Association of India (ATOAI). The objective of the event is to promote tourism to Ladakh as a tourist destination with a focus on aspects of adventure, culture, and responsible tourism. The event aims to provide indigenous product knowledge to the industry stakeholders and also a platform to local stakeholders for interaction with the Tour Operators/buyers from the rest of the country.
Lieutenant Governor of Union Territory of Ladakh Shri Radha Krishna Mathur and Union Minister of Tourism, Culture, and Development of North Eastern Region Shri G. Kishan Reddy addressed this mega-tourism event recently. During the event, “A Tourism Vision for Ladakh” document was unveiled which focuses on the overall development of the Region. The Document envisions promoting tourism in the backdrop of sustainable ecological practices, building on local material and human resources.
Lieutenant Governor, Shri Mathur spoke about the new tourism products that Ladakh can offer to the visitors such as Winter Tourism, Science-based tourism, etc. He added that cultural and heritage tourism has enormous potential in the region. He was happy to mention that Buddhist Chanting has been identified by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage of Ladakh.
Tourism Minister, Shri Reddy in his virtual address said that Tourism in Ladakh has seen immense growth in the last 40 years. Ladakh is the ‘Land of High Passes’ that has something to offer to every tourist from the bliss of natural beauty to adventure opportunities for trekkers, bikers, cyclists, climbers, etc. At the same, the monasteries of Hemis, Alchi, Thiksay make Ladakh a cultural and heritage hub. The Union Minister also mentioned that to leverage the huge tourism potential of the state, the Tourism Ministry has launched the ‘Ladakh: New Start New Goals’ program and this is a platform that provides tour operators from other parts of the country and customers to interact with local stakeholders. Shri Reddy further added that Tourism Ministry has also prepared a ‘Ladakh Vision Document’ where all matters related to the development of Tourism in the region are discussed in detail. He expressed his belief that in places like Ladakh for tourism to develop the community partnership is very important.
Member of Parliament of Ladakh Shri Jamyang Tsering Namgyal said, “I believe that this program will not only boost the tourism sector of Ladakh but also boost the economy of UT. This program will give us a vision of how we can create sustainable and responsible tourism.” He stressed conducting the Zanskar winter tourism festival and winter sports festival for a duration of one month and also urged to boost tourism in Kargil.
After the inaugural session panel discussions covered various topics like holistic development of tourism in Ladakh with a focus on new areas for development, connectivity, infrastructure, sustainable and community-based development, opportunities and challenges of Adventure Tourism in Leh and Homestay Tourism potential in unlocking new areas and the role played by it in empowering local community and women.
COVID 19 pandemic has impacted the world in an unprecedented manner and brought it to a standstill. However, the signs of recovery have been witnessed and the movement of people across the country has started and every means of travel i.e. airlines, trains, and highways has reported a regular increase in visitors traffic in the domestic tourism segment. The Ministry has aggressively started tourism promotions with the participation of the industry stakeholders. Ministry of Tourism promotes Ladakh in domestic as well as in international markets through various campaigns and initiatives such as Dekho Apna Desh wherein a dedicated webinar on Ladakh was conducted. Promotion of Ladakh is also undertaken through Incredible India Website, Social Media Platforms of the Ministry, the printing of flyers, etc.
The event is attracting various Opinion Makers, Tour Operators, Hoteliers, Diplomats, Homestay Owners, Senior Officials from the Government of India, UT Administration of Ladakh, and Media. The three days’ event includes activities like exhibition, panel discussions, B2B meetings, technical tours, Cultural evening to showcase tourism facilities and tourism products of Ladakh.
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