Srinagar: A delegation of Adventure Tour Operators Association of Kashmir (ATOAK) led by its president Rauf Tramboo met newly appointed Principal Secretary Tourism, Sandip Naik, at SKICC Srinagar.
ATOAK spokesman in a statement said that the delegation apprised Naik about adventure tourism, which is an “ailing sector and needs immediate attention” of the government. “The enormous difficulties faced by the adventure tour operators in operating adventure tourism smoothly were brought into the notice of Naik,” the statement added.
After hearing their pleas patiently, the Principal Secretary Tourism, as per the statement, assured the delegation his all possible assistance and cooperation. He also advised his department to permit them to operate different adventure tourism activities in the valley.
Naik was also informed about the disparity in operating adventure activities in the three regions of the state. In Ladakh, the stakeholders are neither charged any royalty nor are they pursuing lengthy procedures of seeking the permissions from Tourism Department. Only in Kashmir, the operators are charged royalty for operating adventure tourism activity.
Naik was also informed about the heavy losses adventure tour operators suffered during 2014 floods when their boats were taken by police, army and civil administration for rescue purposes. “There was a direct loss of nearly 2.55 to rafting operators,” said the statement.
Director Tourism Kashmir, Mahmood Ahmad Shah, also agreed to help to grow adventure tourism in the state.