Tourism promotion: Mufti Sayeed in Mumbai for a date with Bollywood

Moazum Mohammad

SRINAGAR: Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayed along with his cabinet ministers and tourism players will meet Indian film industry in Mumbai on Thursday seeking promotion of Kashmir as tourist destination through cinema.
According to an official, the delegation headed by Mufti comprising Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu, Minister of sports Imran Raza Ansari today left for Mumbai where they will meet tour and travel bodies apart from Bollywood fraternity.
“On Thursday evening, the delegation will hold a meeting with Bollywood celebrities and seek their support in promoting tourism sector here. In the daytime, a meeting will be held with tour and travel bodies in Bandra,” the official said.
To begin with, the government has decided to launch a promotional campaign to promote tourism from three cities including Mumbai, Ahmadabad and Delhi, he said.
“After Mumbai, the delegation will travel to Ahmadabad on Friday and finally Delhi,” he added.
The recent flood scare followed by a malicious campaign by New Delhi based media on Masarat Alam issue in the Valley created a scare among the intending tourists. Both the events led to 40 percent cancelation of tourist reservations. Sensing it would cast shadow on the tourism industry, Former Chief Minister Omar Abdullah had appealed the tourists not to cancel their trip to the Valley. Spring used to be a peak season for tourism sector here but the dip tourist arrivals worried tourism players, who sought government’s support to promote tourism.
“Presence of CM will make a huge impact. It will have a positive impact on tourism. Basically, we requested CM to come along and play his role. The Bollywood has an important role because during 1970’s, Kashmir was on the top of tourism map due to showcasing of the Valley through movies. We will insist them to play a positive role which will benefit our industry,” said Showkat Chaudhry, President of Kashmir Hotels and Restaurant Association.
Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry which is part of the delegation said the government promotional event will send a positive signal to outside world
“The visit of government team will have an impact on tourism sector along with other sectors. It’s a positive step and very much appreciable,” said President KCCI Sheikh Ashiq.