Govt to build infrastructure for attracting foreign tourists

JAMMU: In a bid to woo foreign tourists to Jammu and Kashmir, Minister of State for Tourism, Culture, Priya Sethi Tuesday  said a huge inter-agency cooperation movement is being launched at global level.
The Minister said this during a round table with a delegation of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) comprising its members from Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh, here .
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) submitted their recommendations on building roadmap for ensuring a global presence of J&K in the field of tourism.
Secretary Tourism Farooq Ahmad Shah was also present on the occasion.
She  said in order to take State’s Tourism to the global levels, government is taking all possible measures to complete the developmental projects successfully.
“We have to aim such that the name ‘Jammu and Kashmir’ becomes synonymous with the ideal destination for weddings, golf, adventure, rafting, trout fishing, polo in Leh, ATV rides, double hemp camel safari besides being a well developed pilgrimage circuit for religious tourism”, the Minister maintained.
Priya Sethi welcomed the delegation of CII and Lakshmi Kaul, from the office of MP Bob Blackman, UK Parliament, London, who was also the director and curator for the JK festival organized in London on 25th of Oct, 2016 in association with CII, and congratulated them for the successful JK Festival in London. She assured her full support for the initiatives and asked formulation of the core steering committee on top priority.
“Tourism, as we all know, is the backbone industry for the economy of our state. Despite all obvious challenges, tourists do not shy away from their regular visits to the religious and family tourist spots,” she said, adding “When all states are competing with each other, it becomes very important that together we formulate a roadmap for ensuring a global presence for J&K Tourism”.
The Minister hailed the CII’s initiative of holding first ever JK Festival in London and hoped such festivals become an annual affair, with Department of Tourism and Culture becoming major contributors in organizing these festivals and similar such events.
The objective of the meeting was to propose a roadmap and define a plan of action for revival of tourism in the State.
Secretary, Department of Tourism, Farooq Ahmad Shah, gave a detailed insight on the efforts that the tourism department has been making for the development of tourism. He shared with the delegation that various initiatives, including ropeway to Mubarak Mandi etc are in pipeline and these will certainly ensure a long-term benefit to the tourists.
Senior CII members from Ladakh, Jigmet Angchuk and Tsetan Dorjay welcomed the initiatives of JKTDC and requested the Minister for promoting Ladakh for the winter adventure sports. They also called for easing out the process of getting inner line permits for Ladakh.
Chairman, CII J&K State Council Sheikh Imran, during the meeting put forth suggestions including establishment of Tourism Estate which should be suitable for the development of the integrated resort complex, with carrying capacities of tourist facilities and activities. He also suggested incentive schemes on HVAC to hotels and proposed the development of Winter Tourism in Ladakh, in the detailed recommendation paper submitted to the Minister.
Lakshmi Kaul gave a detailed brief on the success of JK London Festival. She also gave an insight on the way forward for the JK Festival in coming years. In order to seek more benefits for the local artisans and industry of J&K state, she called for institutionalization of JK Festival by forming a core steering committee.