Ladakh to be developed as international tourism hub: Union Minister

New Delhi: Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel virtually inaugurates Tourist Facilitation Centre€ facility at Guruvayur, Kerala under PRASHAD scheme, from New Delhi on Nov 4, 2020. (Photo: IANS/PIB)

Kargil, Jan 25 (IANS) Union Tourism and Culture Minister Prahlad Singh Patel said that Leh-Ladakh and Kargil are being developed rapidly after abrogation of Article 370 with an aim to make them an international tourism hub.

In an exclusive interview with IANS after the inauguration of the National Event of Adventure Tourism (NEAT Kargil 2021), he said the roadmap for development of all the necessary basic resources for the convenience of tourists are being prepared and Kargil is so beautiful that after coming here people of our country will never go to any foreign country.

He said despite immense potential at the global level, Kargil didn’t get much recognition but now the development is on full swing. Both the Tourism and the Culture Ministries are working hand-in-hand to develop the UT and people’s perception about Kargil is also changing.

Patel said: “2.20 crore people from India go abroad for tourism and 1.80 crore people from foreign countries come to India. We have everything in Kargil. Maybe, we have not been able to define its beauty. Attempts were made to malign its image but things have been rectified. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has opened flood gates of development schemes for the UT.”

He said that as part of global media plan, videos are being made and put on the website of the ministry. “We are working to make people aware about the beauty of Kargil. People who visit here can share their videos on the ministry’s website,” he said.

The Union Minister said that he came to Ladakh with the officials from both the ministries and instructed them that no one should need to travel to Delhi for any work and rather the officials of the ministry should reach out to the locals here and help them with the required work. “As a result, we have started work of opening an institute that will provide training for adventure sports in Kargil,” he said.

Patel said: “When the people of Ladakh drew our attention towards adventure tourism, then the work of opening of the Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering (IISM) started in Kargil. Land will be acquired within a week, budget will be released and the institute will be ready soon. People will be trained in skiing and mountaineering here and then will be able to participate in the international tournaments. With the opening of the institute, the adventure tourism will become an industry here.”

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