Tourism needs to be experiential, and a Conclave like this can help to explore the possibilities and potential of Ladakh as a formidable tourist destination, said Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, RK Mathur, in the closing ceremony of the second edition of the Ladakh Winter Conclave here yesterday.
LG Mathur, who was the chief guest on occasion, emphasised the need for a holistic approach in bringing the heritage, nature and people of Ladakh together to make the region a privileged tourist destination partly on the lines of Bhutan. He also advocated the need for controlled tourism to reduce the impact of mass tourism on the fragile environment, resources and landscape of Ladakh.
LG Mathur termed tourism as a means to inculcate a sense of pride among Ladakhis about their unique identity and rich cultural heritage. He spoke about the potential of the virtual, night sky and geo-tourism in Ladakh. He also shared the idea of promoting the art of storytelling and film making with a focus on children to make them aware of the rich culture and civilisation of Ladakh. He emphasised on collaborative efforts considering the ground realities to ensure a better atmosphere and richer experience for the tourists in Ladakh.
LG Mathur thanked the eminent guests who have come from different parts of the country for their active participation in making the conclave productive. He also lauded the organisers led by Ladakh Tourism Department for their efforts.
Chairman, LAHDC Leh, Advocate Tashi Gyalson; Deputy Chairman, LAHDC Leh, Tsering Angchok along with Executive Councillors from LAHDC Leh; King Jigmed Wangchuk Namgyal, Administrative Secretaries of UT Ladakh, ADGP, Leh, SS Khandare; SSP Leh, Rajiv Pandey; Director, Tourism, Kunzes Angmo; head of different religious organisations and guests from all parts of the country were present during the closing ceremony of the Conclave.
Meanwhile, the key takeaways from the panel discussions conducted during the Ladakh Winter Conclave were discussed on the concluding day. Tara Sharma, Monisha Ahmed and Shoba Mohan spoke on expanding the definition and conservation of heritage, museums as a means of conserving culture, promoting museums as major attractions in Ladakh for tourists, and developing a sustainable model for museums in Ladakh.
The key takeaways from the session on Post-Covid Tourism included the need to focus on homestays, making rural tourism a community-owned enterprise with locals as major stakeholders, adopting Blue Ocean strategy that focuses on creating a new market than competing in the existing market, reducing and eliminating the factors which are degrading for the tourism industry, and promoting Ladakh as tourist and wellness destination throughout the year.
The key takeaways from the final session on adventure tourism were conducting an impact assessment study of the fragile eco-system of the Trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh, seeking permit from the Indian Mountaineering Federation, the development of infrastructure and policies for adventure tourism, training and providing certificates to mountain guides, and establishing Ladakh as a mountain biking destination.
There was also a screening of documentary films, cultural performances and fashion show showcasing the costumes of Ladakh in the evening. The Lt. Governor presented certificates to the filmmakers mentored by Rakesh Omprakash Mehra, a renowned Indian filmmaker.
Earlier, an exhibition match of traditional Ladakhi polo took place at Ranbirpur, Thiksey.