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Tuesday, September 01, 2009
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15-day Ladakh Festival Inaugurated

Leh, September 01- 15-day Ladakh Festival started with traditional fervour here today. The Union Tourism Minister Kumari Selja inaugurated the festival amid a mammoth gathering at Leh Polo ground with a large number of foreign tourists.

Addressing the inaugural function, Kumari Selja said that discovery of India starts from Ladakh which is the crowning glory of India and Government of India has invested liberally to make Ladakh a mega destination for tourists. She said that the Ladakh region is ideally suited for adventure tourism.

In the back drop of global concerns over climate change, Kumari Selja said that it becomes imperative for us to ensure environment friendly tourism to flourish and cautioned that we should be responsible for environmental heritage of this region adding that tourism products must be assessed in terms of their impact on the environment and not just on their economic viability. She urged that all stake holders must take their responsibility to keep Leh neat and clean.

Kumari Selja further said that with a view to meet the challenges of the inflow of tourists in Ladakh the State must put more thrust on infrastructure development at the existing tourist potential sites. She said that there will be need of more public amenities like toilets accommodation, parking facilities and for that Ministry of Tourism has a scheme called infrastructure development of destinations and circuits under which the financial support is provided for such purposes.

She expressed her pleasure to be a part of the incredible experience and inaugurating this colorful Ladakh festival which is now becoming an important event in the tourism calendar of the country.

Welcoming the guests and audiences, the Chief Executive Councilor, LAHDC, Leh Mr. Chering Dorje said that inaugurating Ladakh festival by Union Tourism Minister Kumari Selja herself indicates the keenness of Central Government to develop Ladakh as tourist destination. He said that Ladakh has immense potential for development of both adventure and cultural tourism with its natural forms and deep rooted culture. He said that the festival has fetched satisfying results in terms of tourism promotion in the region besides revival of ancient cultural glory of Ladakh.

On the occasion, the Minister for Tourism Mr. Nawang Rigzin Jora said that the main objective of holding Ladakh Festival from last 12 years was to showcase the rich and living cultural heritage of Ladakh to the world and to attract more and more tourists to this region by stretching the tourist season. He said that Ladakh is a spiritual destination of India and renovation of monasteries and other cultural centres is going to draw good number of foreign tourists from all over the world.

The Minister of State for Tourism, Mr. Nasir Aslam Wani emphasised that in view of tremendous potential for tourism promotion in Ladakh, the State Tourism Ministry under the leadership of Mr. Nawang Rigzin Jora is doing their best to strengthen the infrastructure and other important facilities in Leh.

The Executive Councilors of LAHDC,Leh the J&K Tourism Secretary, Director Tourism, the Councilors, Deputy Commissioner Leh, Army and Civil Officers, leaders of religious and political parties and prominent citizens attended the inaugural function of Ladakh festival.

Source: Government of Jammu & Kashmir, Department of Information, Press Note, September 01, 2009
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