Ladakh, the cold desert of Jammu and Kashmir, has been awarded as the 'Best Adventure Tourism Destination' in Outlook Traveller Awards 2018 held in New Delhi on Thursday, according to an official spokesperson.
According to the spokesperson, the director tourism, Kashmir, Mahmood A Shah, while speaking about the award, said the tourism department has taken concerted efforts to promote adventure tourism and sports in Ladakh.
He has said that the trekking activities like Chadar trek on the frozen Zanskar River, hiking to Stok Kangri (6121 m) and Nun and Kun Peaks (7135 m), besides biking to Pangong Lake are popular activities attracting a large number of travellers.
He said camping, double hump camel rides and traditional sports of horse polo and archery also attract adventure enthusiast from across the world.
The department also organized Kargil Road Show twice in 2017 to highlight the potential of the region among adventure travellers.
The director said owing to department's vigorous promotional campaign, Ladakh received 'record number' of over 2.77 lakh tourists last year.
"We have been organising festivals and adventure sports activities both in Kargil and Leh to make the destination popular among the visitors especially adventure travel enthusiasts. Many travelers visit the places in Ladakh on motorbikes and on MTBs," he said.
"We are hopeful to witness increased footfall this year and surpass last year's record arrivals."
The director said the tourism department also organized adventure race 'India Expedition' in September 2017 followed by Leh Festival which showcased the adventure potential of the region across the globe.
To expand the scope of adventure tourism in Ladakh, the department has opened new areas and routes like Agham Shyok Road to reach Pangong Lake from Nubra without having to return to Leh.
"The new road reduces journey between two places considerably and encourages the travellers to visit Pangong Lake through Shayok River," said Director Tourism.
To give better experience of the Leh market to the visitors, the department also developed and pedestrianized the market beautifully.