By-Kavita Bajeli Datta
Heli-skiing in Auli, paragliding in Manali, Bunjee jumping in Rishikesh, trekking in mighty Himalayan range, ice climbing in Garhwal and many more adventurous sports that winter offers us.
The harsh winter is no more a hinderance to a great holiday.
Winters is a time when tourism industry comes alive, offering a wide range of activities for an adventure enthusiast.
Film editor, Sandeep Singh, is awestruck by the snow-capped landscape and cold winds exhilarating. For this travel junkie, winter is best suited to pack bags and set off to a new destination.
“I love travelling during the winter. I take off to the mountains. The biting cold seems to open up all my senses and makes them sharper,” said Singh, an avid traveler.
“Be it para-gliding, trekking or bunjee jumping, I do it all. My wife and friends are game for it. Winter certainly is the best time for such adventure.”
Winter travelers are by no means rare species anymore. Be it Leh or Patnitop or Gulmarg, travelers find their way.
With all the adventure sports, travelling in winters has become more thrilling and exciting. This might be the reason why men along with their families are attracted to snow filled mountains.
The travel industry is exploiting the season with attractive packages.
“A winter break has become almost as mandatory for Indians as vacationing in the summer. In fact, Indians have started exploring not only domestic but also, international destinations during the shorter winter break,” Sharat Dhall, president of Yatra.com said.
The popular travel portal claimed that its bookings raised 132 percent more than the previous winter season.
Ranjeet Oak, Chief Business Officer-Holidays of MakeMyTrip.com added: “Winter tourism as a concept has picked up in India.
“With the growing popularity of adventure tourism in India, winter snow sports have become a hot tourist attraction. Gulmarg (Kashmir) is considered one of the best skiing destinations in the world.”
Interesting packages like “Alluring Gangtok” (starting from Rs.10,650) to “Manali Super Saver” (starting from Rs.5,999) and “Hilly Escapades in Himachal” (starting from Rs.10,900) are offered by Yatra.com to allure travelers.
The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) acknowledges that winter is the best season for the tourism industry’s growth.
Assocham secretary general D S Rawat told that winters were ideally the best season across India.
As per Assocham estimates, over 15 lakh domestic and foreign travelers have visited winter attractions across India(December-February).
Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh captivated the most number of tourists.
Adventure travel is the biggest attraction among couples.
Hari Nair, founder and CEO of Holiday IQ, said 52 percent of adventure travel business goes to couple-travelers. Families comprise 21 percent and only nine percent are single tourists.
The top 10 winter activities included trekking, wildlife safaris, paragliding, skiing, rock climbing, jet skiing, river rafting and surfing, he added.
So get ready because winters have a lot in the bag for you! (IANS) (Image source: happytrips.com)(Kavita Bajeli-Datt can be contacted at [email protected])