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Published on : Friday, November 1, 2013
Zip-lining across the Spiti Valley, cruising along the Brahmaputra, navigating a thrilling white-water ride along the swirling River Kali, searching for the elusive one-horned rhino in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park or relaxing in a luxury tent camp in peaceful Gemur, near Manali? These are some of the new tourism initiatives to be launched.
India’s ministry of tourism launched “777 Days of the Incredible Indian Himalayas” on World Tourism Day, Sept. 27. The event was flagged off by the country’s recently appointed minister of tourism, silver screen star Dr. K. Chiranjeevi.
In the U.S., the tourism office partnered with the Adventure Tour Operators Association of India to present a road show in five North American cities from Oct. 2 to 10 that exposed local Indian and American travel agents to vacation ideas such as skiing, mountain biking, trekking, white water rafting and other tantalizing pursuits.
The states of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, West Bengal, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh have teamed up to promote travel ideas that are way off the beaten track.
Several dignitaries from the office of the Consulate General of India in San Francisco attended the event, including consular and commerce consul Dr. K.G. Srinivasa, who said that his office processes 500 visa applications a day and handled 95,000 visas in 2012, making the San Francisco office the highest revenue earner for the Government of India.
With support from the tourism ministry of the Government of India, the ATOAI is offering special discount packages to entice visitors.
“Only two types of people go to India,” said Thakur. “The ones who hate it, and the ones who love it. Ninety-nine percent of them love it!”