JOY ROY CHOUDHURY – Kolkata
Uttarakhand recently submitted a proposal worth Rs 220 crore to the centre for conducting the Nanda Devi Yatra in mid 2013. Confirming the development to Express Travel World, Amrita Rawat, Minister of State for tourism and horticulture, Uttarakhand said, “We have submitted a Rs 220 crore proposal to the Centre for financial assistance for successful conduct of the ‘Nanda Devi Yatra’ scheduled to be held during the monsoons of 2013. The proposed funds would be utilised for creation of tourism infrastructure in the rugged terrains through which the Yatra will proceed.”
The three week long festival is one of the world famous festivals of the state. The state government is planning to commemorate this event held once in 12 years in a grand way by attracting tourists from different parts of the globe and the country. She added, “The new government headed by Vijay Bahuguna, chief minister, Uttarakhand has put much impetus on tourism sector as it is one of the major revenue earners of this state. Adventure tourism, eco-tourism, religious tourism would be the main thrust areas of the department. The state is also exploring new destinations for river rafting and other water-sports activities to promote adventure tourism in the state. The state government is providing funds to develop infrastructure to boost tourism in this hilly state. New air routes are also being planned to the far-flunged tourist destinations.”
The state figures among the top ten states in terms of tourist arrivals and has attracted 4.1 per cent of domestic tourists. Estimates indicate, Uttarakhand received around 31 million domestic tourists in 2010, up 34 per cent from 23.1 million in the previous year. Foreign tourists arrival too is also on the rise. With regards to marketing and promotion, the state tourism department along with private tour operators are participating in trade fairs across the globe to attract both foreign and domestic tourists. The idea is to strengthen its relationship with travel and tour operators, who play a significant role in promoting a destination.