LG Mathur stresses on changing Ladakh's tourism model
Stressing on the need to change the existing tourism model, Ladakh Lt Governor R K Mathur on Saturday emphasised that there should be geographical spread of tourism activities for the benefit of rural people.
Mathur was speaking at the launch of the homestay incentive items for beneficiaries of Leh district under the new homestay policy.
"Homestays will enable in achieving the decentralisation of tourism activities, take us closer to achieving the goal of carbon-neutrality for Ladakh and also improve the standard of cleanliness," Mathur said.
He advised that the tourism department may provide training to homestay owners to promote responsible tourism in the Union Territory.
Mathur said good infrastructure, including clean rooms, heating facilities and hot running water along with clean and hygienic toilets are essential for homestays.
He stressed on the need to train homestay owners on running their facilities along with equipping them with relevant information for tourists about the place, its history, culture, geology and flora and fauna.
The Lt Governor shared the efforts being made by the administration for the documentation of the history of all villages in Ladakh.
"The Hill Councils, elected representatives and stakeholders in the tourism sector have huge roles to play in promoting homestays to make it (policy) a commercially successful venture," he said.
He emphasised on the need to improve telecommunications and medical facilities for the convenience of the tourists staying in homestays.
Mathur called the distribution of homestay kits to the beneficiaries a ''major initiative'' by the administration and stressed on the need to make this experiment successful.
Earlier, Mathur chaired a meeting to review the progress of the tourism, culture, labour, food, civil services and consumer affairs and law and justice departments here.
He suggested that the tourism department may engage an agency such as Sulabh International or assign the duty to Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) for waste management and operation and maintenance of wayside amenities.
He advised that the existing public convenience structures at Khardung La and Chang La may be demolished and a new structure with glass walls, solar power and heating along with an Oxygen café may be set up at these mountain passes.
He also stressed on the need for 100 per cent coverage for the renovation of existing homestays and construction of toilets in both existing and new homestays.
He advised the tourism department to conduct a census to prepare a list of homestays, guest houses and hotels in Ladakh.
Mathur stressed on the need for monitoring of the Sindhu Ghat area to ensure cleanliness and prohibit the throwing of non-organic matter into the river.
Terming cleanliness and traffic control as critical for the tourism sector, he suggested that Assistant Tourist Officers (ATOs) may be placed at different tourist places in Nubra, Pangong and Khardung La to enable them to work in coordination with police to address traffic issues and check irresponsible driving and other activities.
Mathur advised that the tourism department in collaboration with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Army and police may conduct an expedition at least once a year to promote trekking routes and mountain climbing in Ladakh.
Mathur also stressed on the preparation of Detailed Project Reports (DPRs) for various tourism activities along with the publicity of festivals being celebrated in Ladakh.
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