Annapurna region ripe for adventure sports

9th Mar, 2018 | Tourism Mail Crew

POKHARA, Mar 09: The Annapurna Conservation Area (ACA) hosts the potential for various adventure activities that are yet to be established as tourism products. The Annapurna Conservation Area is known primarily for trekking.

Local tourism entrepreneurs say that the area is not fully gaining the benefits from tourism because of the inability to integrate different adventure tourism activities into a single package.

“A large number of adventure tourists can be attracted to the Annapurna Area by organizing different varieties of adventure activities,” said Surya Thapaliya, Chief of Nepal Tourism Board (NTB) Pokhara Office.

“Skiing is possible in Dhaulagiri and Manaslu, which lie within the Annapurna Conservation Area. Similarly, horse riding is feasible in the Himalayan region above 4,000 meters. Archery can be promoted as an adventure sports. Other activities like rock climbing, high altitude race, and mountain biking, among others, hold immense prospects in the Annapurna Conservation Area,” said Thapaliya.

Santosh Sherchan, a conservation officer at the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), believes that different kinds of adventure sports is possible in the area, except skiing. “Snow does not remain for a long time in Nepal like in Europe. This leaves minimum possibility for skiing to be successful in the Annapurna region,” said Sherchan. “But, other various adventure sports can attract tourists in this area. For instance, Manang, Mustang, and upper region of Gorkha have possibility for mountain biking, high altitude race and horse riding, among others.”

Sherchan said that such activities have not been incorporated into tour packages. Some adventure sports actvities are part of the local festivals of the area. Yartung, a traditional horse riding sport in Manang and Mustang, has been limited to the locals so far. Some experts say that a golf course can also be built in Manang valley and boat race can be organized in Tilicho Lake.