New Delhi, Sep 2 (PTI) The Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) has proposed the opening of 405 new peaks in the Himalayan area to the government to boost tourism opportunities and promote mountaineering, the tourism ministry said on Wednesday.
This was conveyed to Union Culture and Tourism Minister Prahlad Patel during a review meeting with nodal institutions of mountaineering and adventure tourism, a statement from the ministry said.
The meeting had representatives from the IMF, Indian Institute of Tourism and Travel Management, National Institute of Water Sports, Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering and Adventure Tour Operators' Association of India.
'During the meeting, the minister reviewed various activities for the promotion of adventure tourism in India. All participating institutions gave their presentation on the ongoing courses and activities on adventure tourism, along with future-oriented activities,' the statement said.
The IMF briefed the minister about its ongoing mountaineering-related activities.
'The IMF said recently the government has opened 137 new peaks for mountaineering, which is a welcome step, now we have sent proposals for the opening of 405 new peaks in the Himalayan area so that mountaineering may be promoted in full spirit,' the statement said.
Last year, the government opened 137 Himalayan peaks for foreigners, including the 8,589-metre tall Kanchenjunga, the third highest peak in the world, for mountaineering expeditions and trekking in a major boost to tourism.
While reviewing the activities of the National Institute of Water Sports (NIWS), it was highlighted that in 2019-20, it held 192 water sports-training courses for 3,972 trainees.
Patel said as of now, the activities of the NIWS are primarily focussed on coastal areas, but it should also cover areas in the vicinity of rivers and mountains so that more people can be trained and water sports tourism promoted across the country. He also directed the institute to be in touch with various state governments for water sports-training activities.
The minister also reviewed various activities of the Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering (IISM) and said there is great potential in mountaineering and it should be promoted.
He directed the IISM to adopt new technologies in mountaineering training so that more skilled guides may be produced to promote adventure tourism.
'After reviewing all the activities of the participating institutions, Patel assured them to provide full support from the Ministry of Tourism to upgrade the skill and technology. He also appreciated the efforts of all organisations towards the promotion of adventure tourism and hoped that with our mutual efforts, India will be a preferred destination for mountaineering and other adventure activities in the near future,' the statement said. PTI ASG RC