Jammu and Kashmir government kick started rafting activities on Monday as COVID-19 cases are decreasing in the state. The action will bring back adventure tourism and adventure sports in J&K. After resuming rafting in Jammu & Kashmir, Dr. G.N. Itoo, Director of Tourism said that rafting is one of the adventurous activities in Kashmir which plays a crucial role in attracting tourists across the world. Keeping in mind the fall in COVID-19 cases, the department of tourism and Adventure Tour Operators Association of Kashmir(ATOAK) organized white water rafting in the Wussan area of the district Ganderbal.
Dr. G.N. Itoo while speaking to ANI sais, "After the COVID-19 pandemic, this is the beginning of rafting and other adventure related activitites that attract a good number of participants including some tourists who enjoy more than their expectations."
He added further, "For the last few years due to the situation and COVID-19 related issues, government and non-government organisations could not recognise such big activities to boost adventure tourism as well as adventure sports. After the cases started declining, we decided to follow flag off a few activities associated with adventure tourism, so we decided to organise it."
Jammu and Kashmir is known for its adventure sports. Following are the other adventure sports that are famous in the state.
The lakes of J&K are mostly fed by melting glaciers, so tourists can do many water sports in the state like White water rafting, Wild water rafting, Parasailing, swimming, and experience a wonderful view on Houseboats and Shikara rides for local sightseeing in the lakes.
The rocky mountains of J&K are the perfect spot for land sports like Skiing and Trekking, Bungee Jumps, Mountain cycling, Alpine skiing, Jeep safaris, and cave exploration. Apart from all these adventures, Gulmarg also has one of the highest green golf courses in Jammu & Kashmir.
Aero sports like Paragliding, Hot Air balloon rides, Air surfing, and Sky diving are popular adventure sports in the state.
According to the local tour operators of J&K, tourism was picked up in October 2020 as there was heavy rainfall which attracted tourists.
A travel agent Zulifkar told ANI, "After October-November last year, there was good traffic of tourists. COVID-19 protocols and SOPs are being strictly followed here. But after the second wave of COVID-19, tourists folltfall reduced by almost 90% .