A case to promote border tourism – India’s tremendous tourism potential in its border States | 8th March 2023 | UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis

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What's the article about?

  • It talks about tapping India's tremendous tourism potential in its border States.


  • GS2: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation;
  • GS3:Security Challenges and their Management in Border Areas;
  • Prelims


  • Recently, Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan spoke of the need “to repopulate vast unoccupied areas, located even far away from the last villages of the state towards the border” and emphasised the importance of promoting border tourism in such areas.
  • In this article, the writer talks about tapping India's tremendous tourism potential in its border States.

Reasons for low tourism development in border areas:

  • remoteness of locations and the difficulty of access
  • infrastructure deficit
  • cumbersome security procedures and permits for adventure sports, mountaineering and related commercial activities

Government initiatives to promote tourism in the border areas:

  • Boosting the infrastructure in border areas
  • Opening villages along the northern border for tourists under the Vibrant Villages Programme
  • Outreach programme by Home Affairs Ministry

What sort of tourism can be promoted in the border areas?

  • Natural sightseeing:
    • photography and birdwatching at around Pangong Lake and Chushul
    • In the Changthang wildlife sanctuary, there are wetlands and a thriving population of the Kiang, a wild ass.
    • The Demchok area is home to several hot springs that are popular for naturopathy cures.
    • Mana Pass in Chamoli, Uttarakhand, is one of the highest vehicle-accessible passes in the world. Mana village is steeped in mythology as the gateway to heaven.
    • It is close to Hemkund and the Valley of Flowers. The Badrinath shrine is located nearby.
  • Cultural tourism:
    • Lhari Peak is sacred to both Hindus and Buddhists.
  • Adventure Sports:
    • Regular motorcycle expeditions at Karakoram Pass in Ladakh.
    • mountaineering expeditions at Saser Kangri massif.
    • The Deo Tal lake near Mana can be developed for sailing, and the nearby slopes offer a good site for skiing. Peaks such as Mount Kamet and nearby peaks in the Nilang-Jadang valley are prime destinations for mountaineering expeditions.

State Wise potential:

  • Uttarakhand:
    • the Niti Valley and the eponymous Mana village close to the Line of Actual Control have considerable potential.
    • There is also scope to develop tourism around the Parvati Kund at Rimkhim in the Barahoti bowl.
  • Sikkim:
    • the region around Doka La is ripe for tourism.
    • Pedong, Nathang Valley, Zuluk, Kupup, Baba Harbhajan Mandir and the Yak Gold Course, the highest golf course in the world, are nearby.
    • Conducted tours, including trekking expeditions up to Batang La, could be a start.
  • Arunachal Pradesh: 
    • Zero Point –  the site of border personnel meetings with China.
    • Taksing is surrounded by beautiful river valleys, virgin rainforest and scenic camping sites.
    • It also holds religious significance for Buddhists along the ancient Tsari pilgrimage route.
    • The Walong area in Anjaw district is the site of the Battle of Walong.
    • Facilities along the stretch covering Walong, Dong, Kibithu and Kaho could showcase India’s military history and tourism.

Way Forward:

  • The military’s deployment still remains the mainstay of livelihood for local residents in many remote places.
  • This should change in favour of commercial activity, including tourism.
  • While the vast tourism potential of India’s border areas need to be tapped, it is equally important to ensure that tourism projects are implemented after conducting feasibility studies.
  • Unbridled construction in violation of norms leads to subsidence in the Himalayan belt.
  • Infrastructure which is built in a sustainable manner and benefits the local economy should be encouraged.

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