Outbound Traveler Mart (OTM) once again launched after two years due to the global pandemic. Uttarakhand Tourism participated in the three-day OTM, including the partners associated with the tourism sector of the country and abroad. Uttarakhand Tourism was represented by Additional Director Shri Vivek Chauhan. Along with this, about 50 tourism businessmen of the state associated with the tourism business also participated in OTM. OTM held in Mumbai was inaugurated by Dr. Abdulla Moussoom, Minister of Tourism of Maldives.
Vivek Chauhan, Additional Director, UTDB said that OTM gives the most influential tourism leaders of India and Asia a platform to exchange their views. Representing Uttarakhand tourism on such a platform will prove to be important for promoting the tourism of our state. In the last two years, due to Corona restrictions, Chardham and Hemkund Sahib Yatra could not be operated on a large scale in the state. But this time our state is fully prepared for Chardham and Hemkund Sahib Yatra when the situation becomes normal. Passenger facilities have been expanded in the state for this year’s Chardham and Hemkund Sahib Yatra. Heli service is also being provided for the passengers. Apart from this, preparations have been completed to arrange accommodation, food as well as all other facilities for the pilgrims in Chardham and Hemkund Sahib.
The Additional Director informed that keeping in mind the safety of the pilgrims in Chardham and Hemkund Sahib Yatra, which will start soon in the state, the Uttarakhand government has made arrangements for online and offline registration and verification for the first time. With this, the pilgrims and their vehicles can be easily tracked along with their safety. For this, a mobile app and website have been prepared by the tourism department. The doors of world-famous Yamunotri and Gangotri Dham will be opened on Akshaya Tritiya on 03 May, Kedarnath Dham on 06 May, and Badrinath Dham on 08 May. This time in Shri Kedarnath Dham, apart from regular worship, devotees will also be able to visit the Samadhi of Adi Guru Shankaracharya. This will be the first time pilgrims will be able to visit Kedar as well as visit the Samadhi of Adi Guru Shankaracharya from day one. The tomb of Adiguru Shankaracharya was also washed away in the divine disaster in the year 2013. After which the Samadhi of Adiguru Shankaracharya has been prepared with a special design under the reconstruction works of Kedarnath Dham under the guidelines of Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, which was inaugurated by the Honorable Prime Minister in the month of November last year. Looking at the figures for the year 2019, the number of pilgrims visiting Chardham was 32,40,882. While it was 3,21,906 in the year 2020 and 5,09,503 in the year 2021. Whereas in the year 2019, 2,40,133 devotees came to Hemkund Sahib. In the year 2020, 8,290, and in the year 2021, 19,909 pilgrims came to Hemkund Sahib.
To make tourism smooth and enjoyable in the state, the road network has been strengthened under ambitious projects like All Weather Road. With this, tourists and pilgrims will be able to travel successfully and safely. The cultural, religious, and geographical conditions of Uttarakhand are favorable for adventure tourism. This is the reason why there are limitless possibilities of adventure tourism like adventure trekking, river rafting, paragliding, bungee jumping, skiing. Given the heterogeneous geographical conditions of the state, ropeway is becoming a major means of pollution-free transport for travelers and tourists. Uttarakhand is the first state in the country to sign a contract with the Ministry of Road, Transport and Highways, Government of India for the construction of a ropeway.
The contribution of tourism and hotel business to the national income and workforce is about one-tenth. It was impacted extensively in the last two years. But now the tourism business seems to be getting back on track amidst the decreasing cases of Corona. We are constantly working to provide all possible facilities to the tourists. Every possible work is being done by the government to provide a safe and clean environment to the tourists in the tourist places of the state. The result is that the state is moving ahead on the journey of development.