JAMMU: To tap the immense adventure tourism potential of Jammu region, Directorate of Tourism Jammu, under the supervision of Secretary Tourism J&K Sarmad Hafeez, successfully conducted a Hot Air Ballooning Course in the Football Ground of Government Science College Jammu.
The course was conducted under the aegis of Indian Institute of Skiing & Mountaineering (IISM) Gulmarg which is one of India’s premier Adventure Institute falling under the ambit of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India. The Institute has successfully organized two Hot Air Ballooning Courses at Jammu each with a time span of 10 days. A total of 25adventure students from all over the country participated and successfully completed each course.
The Directorate of Tourism Jammu has taken the initiative to coordinate with IISM Gulmarg to promote adventure tourism in Jammu region especially the air borne adventure activities and is also expecting to conduct paragliding training courses at Aithem near Surinsar in the coming future. IISM Gulmarg has an active role in promoting Adventure Tourism and actively trains the youth in different adventure Sports such as skiing, mountaineering, high altitude, trekking, hot air balloon and other related adventure activities. Speaking on the occasion, Former Director Col J S Dhillon, SM who is presently working with IISM as a consultant and supervising its field activities said that India has huge scope for adventure tourism but we have trust deficit amongst organizers and tourists due to safety issues as most of the organizer are ill-trained and use substandard equipments, but the institute under the aegis of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India is trying to bridge the critical gaps and train local youth in such courses so that safe and reliable ventures start mushrooming in Jammu region and Jammu develops as ‘Air Sport Adventure Destination’. He added that Jammu has the potential to become an attractive destination for adventure enthusiasts.
The course was conducted with the support of local authorities of the tourism department, sports, police and air force. The balloon flights were conducted by Sub. Ram Mohan, ex. Army Officer who has more than 600 hours of flying experience.
In an impressive graduation ceremony today, Vivekananda Rai, IRS, Director Tourism, Jammu inspected the training on live Hot Air Balloon and gave away certificates to successful candidates of the 2nd Batch. He said that today’s generation needs such adventure activities to transform their personalities and also promote safe and sustainable tourism in our country. He emphasized that the Jammu region has immense potential for adventure tourism and the Directorate of Tourism Jammu is committed towards developing and promoting Jammu as ‘The Land of Adventures’.
The current course was attended by adventure aspirants from all over India. Among those who were present on the occasion were Sunaina Sharma Mehta, Joint Director Tourism Jammu, who congratulated the IISM Gulmarg and the passing out students for the successful completion of 2nd batch. She emphasized on the importance of more such courses especially tailored made for Jammu region in various aero adventure sectors.