Srinagar: Ladakh, the cold desert region of Jammu and Kashmir often referred to as ‘moonland’ which had received record number of over 2.77 lakh domestic and foreign tourists in 2017 has bagged ‘Best Adventure Tourism Destination’ award at the Outlook Traveller Awards 2018 (OLT Awards) function held in New Delhi.
Director Tourism (Kashmir), Mahmood A Shah, said on Saturday that particularly the trekking activities in Chadar trail on the frozen Zanskar River, hiking to 6,121 metre Stok Kangri and 7,135 metre Nun and Kun Peaks, besides biking to Pangong Lake have been popular activities attracting a large number of travellers.
He added that camping at various sites in the landlocked region, double hump camel rides and traditional sports of horse polo and archery too have been star attractions especially for adventure enthusiast from across the world.
“Our department organized Kargil road show twice in the last year to highlight the potential of the region among adventure travellers,” he said adding that it was owing to department’s vigorous promotional campaign that Ladakh was visited by so many holiday makers and adventure enthusiasts last year.
He further said, “We have been organising festivals and adventure sports activities both in Kargil and Leh to make the destination popular among the visitors especially adventure travel enthusiasts. Many travellers visit the places in Ladakh on motorbikes and on MTBs.”
He was optimistic about the region witnessing increased footfall this year and surpass last year’s record arrivals.
In order to expand the scope of adventure tourism in Ladakh, the Tourism department has opened new areas and routes like Agham Shyok Road to reach Pangong Lake from Nubra without having to return to Leh. “The new road reduces journey between two places considerably and encourages the travellers to visit Pangong Lake through Shayok River,” Shah said.
In view of the rush, the Tourism department has under various schemes supported the local stakeholder in the construction and up-gradation of hotels and guest houses to increase the bed capacity in Ladakh.