CM must lead promotion campaign for tourism: KHAROF

SRINAGAR: With tourist arrivals in Jammu and Kashmir declining, a body of hoteliers and restaurateurs Wednesday urged the Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to “take charge of the promotional activities himself” for revival of the tourism sector.
“Tourism sector is once again bleeding as tourist arrivals have hit the bottom. We witnessed 40 per cent cancellations for May,” President of Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Owners Federation (KHAROF), G M Dug, told reporters at a press conference here.
Dug appealed Sayeed, who also hold the Tourism portfolio, to personally lead the promotional campaign.
“We are sure it will make a huge impact. The government should come forward to clear whatever misconceptions the intending tourists might have,” he said.
Dug said that instead of pondering over the situation seriously in consultation with professional consultants and stakeholders on how to do promotional activities, the government has embarked upon “non-productive” activity.
“At present, non-productive promotional activity has been embarked upon by the Department of Tourism by holding road shows or fairs from where we do not receive even one per cent of the tourists.
“While they have neglected the potential places like Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad and Kolkata, from where we receive more than 80 per cent tourists as holidays in these places have begun,” he said.
Dug also accused a section of media of negative reporting about the situation in the Valley.
“That has hurt us more. It had its effect on the sector which is fragile,” he said and appealed to the media to consider the damage “such misreporting” can do.
“We appeal to the media to help us in putting Kashmir back on the tourist map of the world,” Dug said.