The 9th National Rafting Championship on river Sutlej concludes today. Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal gives away prizes to the winning teams. Atal Behari Vajpayee Institute of Mountaineering and Allied Sports gets first price in men category, while Delhi women team proved their dominance in the tournament.

While speaking on the closing ceremony, Chief Minister said that Himachal Pradesh was developing Gobind Sagar, Pong Dam, Chamera and other hydro electric project dams for promoting water sports which would further help in tourism promotion.

Chief Minister said that Himachal Pradesh was emerging as the world famous tourism destination since it had everything for everybody’s need and climatic conditions also varied from place to place. He said that the State had difficult geophysical conditions, which were best suitable for promotion of adventure tourism activities. He said that rafting was one sport, which was gaining popularity and initially it had started on waters of Beas and now such activities were being organized in different rivers of the State. He said that Bir-Billing area in Kangra district had made its indelible mark on the world map for organizing international para-gliding events regularly for the past many years. He said that the State was upgrading infrastructural facilities in Maharana Pratap Sagar to facilitate water sports related events.

Prof. Dhumal said that Himachal Pradesh happened to be a State, which had vast unexplored tourism potential to attract adventure lovers from the world over besides peace, security, environment and hospitable people as its precious possessions. He said that the State Government was motivating youth to channelize their energy towards constructive activities and actively involve themselves in sports and adventure activities. He said that tourism was the one sector, which was capable of providing adequate employment, self-employment and income generating opportunities to the local youth as well. He gave a clarion call to all and sundry to visit Himachal Pradesh not only to spend their holidays in close proximity with the nature but also experience adventure sports activities.

CM also released a book titled ‘Wild Life of Himachal Pradesh’ authored by Shri Sanjay Dhiman, Divisional Tourism Development Officer on the occasion. R.H.Khwaja, Secretary Tourism, Government of India also addressed the ceremony. Manisha Nanda, Principal Secretary Tourism, welcomed the Chief Minister and other dignitaries. R.R.Koundal, Deputy Speaker, HP Vidhan Sabha, Shri Onkar Sharma, Deputy Commissioner, Dr. Arun Sharma, Director of Tourism and Civil Aviation, Lokender Chauhan, Managing Director, HP Tourism Development Corporation, Yogesh Behl, General Manager, HPTDC, Dr. Manoj Sharma, Joint Director Tourism and other prominent people were present on the occasion.