Uttarakhand is taking important steps towards helping preserve the environment while also promoting tourism. The state has identified five eco-tourism circles and three eco-tourism destinations which are going to be developed by the Forest Department to boost tourism in the region reports the Times of India.
The department believes that this initiative will greatly help conserve the environment and forest regions in the state. The specific spots that have been identified have been grouped together based on two parameters- their proximity to each other and similarities in biodiversity.
The spots that have been selected are:
- Yamuna Tons Valley
- Tankapur-Champawat-Devidhura (Pithoragarh)-Nainital
How the initiative will be implemented in Uttarakhand
Ramnagar, Ranikhet and Dhanaulti are the three eco-tourism destinations that will be developed. School children, researchers and environmentalists will be encouraged to visit these spots and be given top priority. Dheeraj Pandey, the Additional Secretary of the Forest Department, has said that the objective of the policy is ultimately sustainable tourism, which includes giving back to nature and letting local communities benefit.
Forest Minister Harak Singh Rawat has said that each destination and circle will have an official carrying capacity, indicating the limited number of tourists that can enter and visit the spot. The carrying capacity also will be extremely important and remain in focus to maintain quality tourism.
Locals that stay in the area might also be involved in this new initiative. They will also be trained to guide visitors in bird watching, spotting plants etc. Old trek routes will also be developed to encourage tourists to explore the area.
Uttarakhand is mostly visited for its Hindu pilgrimage sites. The state also sees a lot of tourists visiting Jim Corbett National Park. This new eco-tourism initiative might help tourists become more sensitive to nature around them and be more responsible when they travel.