ountains always charm people and men are smitten to scale up the steepest of peaks to be one with nature. Kashmir has the most salubrious of all mountains in south Asia. In a mega push to promote eco-tourism in Jammu and Kashmir, the Administrative Council (AC) on Monday approved the development of 7 new trekking routes in various wildlife protected areas by the Wildlife Department in coordination with the Tourism Department. The decision as per the government will allow online booking of 29 forest rest houses/inspection huts in Kashmir and Jammu divisions; under a common brand and logo from 1st May 2021, which was need of the hour. In a host of Himalayan countries mountain tourism contribute a great deal to the GDP of these countries. Kashmir was known as a trekking heaven and many trekking enthusiasts in Europe had it on top of their priority list in the 80s.
In the early half of the 21st century many trekking enthusiasts in their early twenties took to mountaineering as a part time profession but sooner observing the career prospects in trekking made it their full time profession.
These trekking enthusiasts took to the social networking sites to post about their love for mountains attracting attention of trekkers all across the world. Sooner, trekkers started flocking the valley and scaled the mountain peaks.
The enthusiasm shown by these trekking enthusiasts who are now full time professionals has rejuvenated the trekking tourism in valley. The government can play a proactive role by training more and more youths in this regard as trek guides. As the government said that it will provide gainful employment to the local population and tap the adventure/eco-tourism potential of the UT, the government should also start spoken language courses in German, Spanish and Italian languages so that we are able to woo trekkers from these regions also.
It is a matter of some years that Kashmir would again be on the priority list of all trekkers across Europe. Since the situation is improving in Kashmir it is time for the unemployed youth to take up mountaineering as a full time profession. There is money, fame, exposure and health to be gained from Trekking tourism. Let us pack our bags and start trekking.