'Need to focus on experiential sports, state has huge potential for Adventure Tourism'
darjeeling: Jamling Tenzing—son of legendary mountaineer Tenzing Norgay—who has been nominated as the Chairman of the committee on Adventure Tourism by the Government of West Bengal, on Friday stated that the state has unending potential for Adventure Tourism.
"West Bengal has immense potential in the avenue of Adventure Tourism owing to its diverse topography that includes mountains, forests, plateau, coast lines, rivers and even mangroves. Using this to the maximum extent, we have to come up with ways to keep the tourists engaged and to ensure that they keep coming back. We have to create new activities,"suggested Jamling.
He stated that stress should be laid on experiential sports like zip lining; low rope activities; high rope activities; climbing walls along with paragliding, trekking; hiking, mountain biking, canoeing and rafting. "We have to chalk out new hiking trails connecting villages and homestays. Just by building homestays, we will not have sustainable tourism. We have to ensure that the tourists coming to these homestays have ample of activities like hiking, cycling to keep them engaged. Then only, they will stay long or return time and again. However, all this needs to be done without ruining nature or the environment," stated Jamling.
An order by the Tourism Department dated August 1 stated that sub-committees had been formed under the State Tourism Task Force. These sub-committees on each sub-sector will facilitate focused and planned approach, addressing different issues pertaining to each of these sub-sectors.
Sub-committees have been formed on Rural and Tea tourism; Heritage and Cultural Tourism; Eco Tourism; River Tourism; Adventure Tourism and MICE Tourism. The 14-membered sub-committee on Adventure Tourism has Everester and eminent mountaineer Jamling Tenzing as Chairman. Other members, include the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute Principal or his representative and eminent Mountaineer Satyarup Siddhanta.
The role of the sub-committees will include identification of sites for promotion of tourism; formulation of detailed action plan including suggestive schemes; exploring avenues for private sector participation including public-private partnership; marketing and promotional strategies; capacity-building; ensuring standardisation, certification and benchmarking of relevant tourism services;
facilitation studies and research and identifying and recommending institutional support and investment.
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