SRINAGAR: The government has asked Tourism department to work for development and promotion of virgin tourist destinations in the state, Minister for Agriculture, Ghulam Nabi Lone Hanjura, said on Wednesday.
Interacting with the non-local tour and travel operators who conducted a FAM tour of Yusmarg on Wednesday, the minister, as per an official handout issued here, said bringing lesser-known destinations like Dodpathri, Yusmarg, Gurez Valley, Aharabal, and Bangus onto tourist map of the state “is a part of the Chief Minister’s vision for Jammu and Kashmir and its people”.
“The Tourism department has been asked to make plans and programmes for the development and promotion of these virgin destinations in a big way, so that more and more tourists are attracted to visit such places,” he said.
The FAM tour, according to the handout, was organised by the Tourism department.
Ten teams of tour and travel operators from various parts of India participated in it along with the Kashmir-based associations such as Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Association, Travel Agents Society of Kashmir, Hotel Federation of Kashmir, All Operator Tour of India, Tour and Travel Delhi, Travel Agents Association of Kashmir, and Pahalgam Hotel Association, it said.
The handout said it was for the first time that the travel companies from other states including New Delhi, West Bengal, and Gujarat visited Kashmir to explore the lesser-known destinations for their tour packages.
The minister, it said, told the visitors that these destinations have the potential to attract and accommodate a large number of tourists, but “the need of the hour is to develop proper infrastructure at such places”.
“BSNL has been asked to install a cellphone tower each at Dodpathri and Yusmarg for which the land has been identified. It would start functioning soon. Airtel mobile and internet services would also be ensured at these destinations,” he said.
He asked the tour operators to join hands with the Tourism department and “work as ambassadors” in motivating the maximum-possible number of tourists to visit these destinations.
The government will give “full support” in this regard, he said.