SRINAGAR: Minister for Education Nayeem Akhter Friday stressed on the need to promote rural tourism in the state.
“The state is bestowed with the immense natural beauty, and every village can become a tourism destination. For this, we need to spread out of the traditional areas to attract the tourists for promoting rural tourism,” Akhter said at the inaugural ceremony of the International Conference on ‘Sustainable Destination Excellence: Rebuilding from Crisis and Disasters’ at Jammu University.
The Minister said there is a need to create awareness among the stakeholders that “preserving the ecology and grandeur of our land is linked with our economic prosperity”.
The two-day Conference has been organised by the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management of the University.
Akhter said the “community participation” can play a vital role in promoting tourist destinations in the state and main thrust should be on generating awareness among the stakeholders for ensuring “minimum depletion of resources and maximum sustainable development”.
“We are living in times in which economy is the driving force and tourism is considered as a tool for inclusive growth of local communities, so it becomes imperative to link tourism with the prospect of economic growth of the communities and empowering them,” the Minister added.
Jammu-Kashmir-Ladakh, he said, is the “most bio-diverse” basket and the “most distinct” tourism product in the world.
Assuring every possible help from the government in creating “environmental consciousness” among the people, he asked the varsity faculty to study certain potential tourist destinations in the state.
He asked the faculty members to form groups of volunteers and activists to aware the people about the need to preserve our “ecological heritage”.
Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof R D Sharma, also spoke on the occasion.