50 PER CENT OF PEAK FEE FOR CLIMBING EXPEDITIONS TO BE MET BY THE MINISTRY OF TOURISM
NEW DELHI (TIP): The Ministry of Tourism in collaboration with Adventure Tour Operators Association of India has launched “777 Days of the Incredible Indian Himalayas” campaign on World Tourism Day, September 27 to centre stage the Incredible Indian Himalayas on the world tourism map. On this occasion, Minister of Tourism, Dr. K. Chiranjeevi announced that the Ministry of Tourism has decided to meet 50% of Peak fee chargeable by Indian Mountaineering Foundation from the climbing expeditions during the period of 777 days of the campaign. The Minister added that the campaign has been designed to spread awareness around the globe that 73% of Himalayan range lies in India. Launching the campaign, the Minister said the Indian Himalayas themselves are a complete destination, which can be explored around the year for variety of experiences.
The travelers can look towards Indian Himalayas for adventure and skiing in winters; exploring biodiversity hotspots during the spring; mountaineering expeditions during the summer; and undertaking variety of leisure and cultural activities during autumn. Describing the Incredible Indian Himalayas as a greatest show on the earth, Dr. Chiranjeevi said that the purpose of the campaign was to tell the entire world that Himalayas provide opportunity for a round-the-year tourism right from hard adventure to soft adventure, rich flora and fauna to bio-diversity hotspots, high altitude peaks to beautiful lakes, from varied culture to the realm of spirituality and wellness. Dr. Chiranjeevi also highlighted the need for promoting Himalayan tourism in a sustainable manner keeping in view the carrying capacity of the destinations. He also informed that the issue of opening up of new air strips to facilitate travel to Himalayan regions has been taken up with the Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Civil Aviation and the State Governments. On the occasion of launch of the campaign Mr. G.A. Mir, Minister of Tourism (J&K), Mrs.
Amrita Rawat, Minister of Culture & Tourism (Uttaranchal), Mr. Bhim Prasad Dhungel, Minister of Tourism & Civil Aviation (Sikkim), Mr. Pasawj Sona Dorajee, Arunachal Pradesh were present. The Ministry also launched a Himalayan Map and a Directory of Events that would contain the activities to be undertaken during this period of “777 days of the Incredible Indian Himalayas” campaign. A book on safety regulations brought out by ATOAI was also release on the occasion. The Ministry also released two short films titled “Greatest Show on the Earth” and “Life Altering Journey”. Earlier in his welcome address, Mr. Parvez Dewan, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, said that the promotion of Himalayas as a tourism destination will also enable India to be marketed as a round-the-year travel destination since Himalayas provided opportunities for travelers round the year. Dr. Conrad Anker, a noted mountain climber with experience of more than 25 years of climbing expeditions in the Himalayan region shared his experiences of the area. He expressed the hope that the reduction of Peak Fees by the Government of India shall motivate mountain climbers to come to the Himalayan region in greater numbers. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Ashwani Kakkar, Chairman, Mercury Travels Ltd. said that this campaign would highlight the virtues of Himalayan Tourism since this region contained one of the biggest bio-diversity hotspots of the world. The Himalayas is home to 10,000 species of plant life and more than 2000 species of animal life and is the single largest natural asset on the earth.