SRINAGAR: The Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Thursday announced a “single window” for time-bound clearance to projects aimed to set up “elite facilities for high-spending visitors” to the state.
Chairing a high-level meeting here, Mufti, who is also the Minister for Tourism, announced the “single window for projects’ clearance in a time-bound manner under one roof to fast-track approvals for laying high-end tourism infrastructure” in the state.
“There is a need to promote Business with Ease, and the single window will facilitate creation of high-end facilities with global benchmarks,” he added.
The government, he said, would remove hurdles to facilitate “brand tie-ups” in order to increase the state’s intake capacity for “high-end overseas” and “top-class domestic” tourists.
“A high-powered committee will be formed to facilitate creation of brand infrastructure to attract international tourist footfall to the state,” he added.
The CM asked for a “concerted effort” to promote J&K as a “top-class golf destination with weekend and weeklong packages” while stressing on the need for an “organised publicity campaign” to promote golf tourism in the state.
“We already have golf circuits at Srinagar, Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Sidhra,” he said. “We are exploring possibilities of laying new courses at Sonamarg, Sanasar and Yusmarg, for which feasibility reports are being prepared.”
Stating that the tourism infrastructure would create countless employment opportunities in the services sector, he asked the tourism stakeholders to employ local youths in their hospitality and human resource divisions.
“Our youth is greatly talented in HR and Hospitality segments and I am sure they will do a fairly good job at the cutting-edge level,” he asserted.
To dovetail exquisite Kashmiri cuisines with the tourism industry, he asked for “branding the food industry of Kashmir by opening a series of restaurants catering to the select market.”
Institute of Hotel Management here, he said, has the potential to vastly improve the food services sector, which can supplement the travel industry.
Need is to organise more food festivals across the country to showcase the state’s famed recipes like Wazwan, he added.
Mufti said he has “prioritized the finalization of the master-plans for Gulmarg, Pahalgam and other resorts” for the development and improvement of infrastructure at the resorts in a “planned way, without disturbing the ambience of the surrounding environment.”
“We have to sell tourism as a wholesome package to high-end visitors as footfall from outside will considerably increase our internal revenue generation,” he added.
During the meeting, the Chief Minister was shown two presentations by Ahad Hotels and Resorts, ITC, and Sarovar Group of Hotels.
Ahad Group of Hotels, in collaboration with ITC, is establishing a new chain of high-quality five-star hotels while Sarovar Group is planning to open high-end luxury hotels to improve intake capacity of top-class visitors in the state.
Hotel Nedou’s at Srinagar is also being developed as a world-class heritage hotel and the work on the project is expected to start soon.