Plan to organise mountain climbing marathon in Kashmir

Srinagar: Indian Mountaineering Foundation (IMF) plans to organise a mountain climbing marathon and youth festivals in Jammu and Kashmir with the aim of boosting adventure sports in the state.

IMF would organise mountain climbing marathon in August end besides the youth festivals in all the three regions of the state so that youth are attracted to adventure sports and also to provide employment to local youth, its president Col (Retd) H S Chauhan said at a meeting chaired by Principal Secretary Tourism Sandip Naik here.

Col Chauhan said the state youth can be trained under ‘Huner-se-Rozgar’ (Employment by Skills) – a centrally -sponsored skill development training course to empower the under privileged youth – in rafting, climbing and trekking.

The meeting, also attended by the local travel trade bodies, discussed various issues pertaining to tourism sector in the state especially measures which will help attract more holiday makers during the coming season, an official spokesman said today.

He said the travel trade fraternity demanded night flights at Srinagar Airport to boost the tourist influx.

The tour operators said familiarisation tour of the leading travel agents from outside should be given priority so that they see by themselves how safe the state is.

The tourism stakeholders said they would also sell off-beat destinations and niche products like rafting and golf, the spokesman said.

Naik assured the representatives of every possible support from the government for running their businesses smoothly during ensuing tourist season.

During the meeting, the spokesman said it was also discussed that Sher-e-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC) on the banks of Dal Lake would be marketed for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events (MICE) tourism and made a brand in the country.

The meeting also suggested issuance of online tickets and boarding passes for Gulmarg Gondola Cable car project to avoid last minute hurry and touting, he said.

He said the Tourism Department also assured the tourism stakeholders that it would make public in advance the festivals so as to attract tourists on these occasions.

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