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Trekking biz suffering due to low footfall of adventure enthusiasts

Uttarkashi: Following a two-year lull due to the Covid pandemic, as tourists made a rush to the hills this year, trekking and mountaineering operators were expecting a high turnout of adventure enthusiasts in the Garhwal Himalayas. However, the footfall has fallen way short of expectations.
"Uttarkashi has about 70 trekking and mountaineering operators and none of them have had more than 3-4 tourist groups this season. Some of them don't even have a single tourist group. In comparison, operators used to host 7-8 tourist groups at a time before the pandemic," said Jayendra Rana, president of Garhwal Himalayas Trekking and Mountaineering Association (GHTMA), Uttarkashi. He added, "We are not sure of the reasons behind the low turnout. However, the process to secure a permit for adventure sports has been made cumbersome. Also, the administration charges an entry fee for those visiting the Gangotri National Park area. This is in contrast with other states where no such fee is charged. As a consequence, tourists are going to Himachal, Ladakh and Kashmir instead of coming to Uttarakhand."
While the turnout of adventure enthusiasts has not been encouraging, the overall tourist footfall in the district has been good. More than 7.5 lakh people have visited the Gangotri and Yamunotri shrines so far this season.
Besides, more than 6,500 people have also visited the Gangotri National Park area. Adventure activities usually go on in the district till November 30.

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