Adventure tourism achieves new heights in Himachal
Himachal
Vacation Travel News

SHIMLA/ MANALI: The rough
and treacherous mountainous regions of Himachal are earning revenues for both
its residents and government as adventure tourism of the state is on its rise. Although
the state has failed to attract high end adventure enthusiasts due to the weak
infrastructure, but still a sharp bounce in adventure industry in recent years
is drawing attraction of more and more tourists from across the world.

Adventure tourism in Himalayan regions of Himachal is on rise
With over five
lakh tourists visiting state only for adventure activities, which is more than
twice than that it was 10 years back, Himachal has proved its potential in
sector of adventure tourism. According to sources, in addition to tourists from
abroad, a large part of subscribers to Himachal are from Maharashtra, West
Bengal and southern states of the country. Not only basic adventure activities
like river rafting, paragliding and skiing are the hot selling sports, but
mountaineering has proved to be a backbone of tourism industry of the Himachal.

“Himachal is
establishing its identity as mini-Nepal for its sky-high hills which are not
that easy to climb,” owner of Himalayan Caranvan, Ravi Thakur, said, who claims
hundreds of permissions are being sought from Indian Mountaineering Foundation
(IMF), Delhi, to climb peaks in Himachal every year. “Thousands of climbers are
reaching Himachal to scale one of the toughest peaks of the world every year.
Easy access to base of the peaks and low cost climbing expeditions are pulling
attention of the world. We have challenging peaks ranging from 15,000 feet to
22,362 feet,” he said.

The Western Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (now ABVIMAS) has prepared hundreds of
skilled mountaineers in Himachal in last four decades who have further
contributed to cheap, safe and eco-friendly adventure tourism in the state. Kangra,
Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Spiti and Kinnaur have become the hotspot for adventure
activities.

“Lakhs of
tourists from France, UK, USA, Germany, Japan, Italy and Israel are visiting
Himachal every year and majority of them come for adventure activities,
especially mountaineering,” Kapil Negi from Indian Himalayan Excursions said.
According to him, as mountaineering is a form of physical fitness, more and
more Indians living in big cities are getting into the adventure activities.
“As per the preliminary estimates, adventure trade of the state may rise up to
20% this year has hundreds of bookings are being done every day.”

The negative
part of adventure tourism in Himachal is negligence on the part of government. State
has no artificial adventure resort to attract high end tourists. According to
service providers, they lose hundreds of bookings due to unavailability of
expensive activities like bungee jumping and sky-lines. Japanese climbers are
given credit to explore the peaks of Western Himalayas and they had summit
almost all peaks of Himachal many decades back when mountaineering was not a
part of tourism in Himachal. Today, thousands of youths of the state are
engaged in different adventure activities like trekking, camping, rock
climbing, rappelling, mountain biking, jeep safari, river rafting and
paragliding.

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The Himalayan

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