JAMMU: Vice-Chairman, Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation, Rafi Ahmad Mir Friday convened a maiden review meeting of the Corporation, saying that the government is aiming to woo record number of tourists and develop rural and border tourism of the State in coming years.
Chairing a high-level meeting here, the Vice-Chairman said that government has identified tourism as one of the key priorities and there is an urgent need to develop state-of-the-art infrastructure and promote new destinations in the picturesque Jammu and Kashmir.
“There is an urgent need to create sufficient accommodation to meet the demands of incoming tourists in the State and JKTDC will have to play a vital role into this,” Mir told the meeting.
“Tourism will not develop unless it comes with the required paraphernalia. We have to be innovative in our thinking to make Jammu and Kashmir a leading tourist destination in the country and abroad,” he said.
Describing tourism as a binding force that joins several other key sectors like the handicrafts/handloom and food industry of Kashmir, Mir said that Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation will be revitalized soon to focus on uniform spread of tourists across the State.
“We see tourism and industry as areas where we have great potential to generate jobs for our skilled unemployed youth,” Mir said. “Nature has bestowed us with beauty in abundance. We have to take steps to utilise idle tourism infrastructure at these existing nature spots for which New Tourism Development Authorities were created,” he said.
He said that Government is also undertaking forceful marketing drives and FAM (Familiarity) tours to promote scenic destinations like Sonamarg, Kokernag, Daksum, Dodhpathri and tourist destinations in Jammu regions including Basohli, tourists areas in Poonch and Doda areas, so that visitors are able to explore State beyond the well-known existing destinations.
Meanwhile Managing Director, JKTDC, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary gave a detailed presentation about functioning of corporation and its physical & financial achievements. He also highlighted the upgradition of properties expansion of infrastructure of the department and also human resource management of for providing better services to the tourists. During the meeting the issues related to regularization of 174 casual workers was also discussed.
The meeting was informed that the 6th Pay Commission arrears would be soon released and the process in this regard has been initiated for the retired employees of Corporation.
The meeting was attended by Managing Director, Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC), Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, General Manager Administration, Riyaz Ahmed, GM Operations, Anju Gupta, DY GM Ashwani Gupta, Ex Engineer Reyaz Ahmed Dar, Company Secretary Rakesh Kumar, I/C T&T Mushtaq Magray among other heads of various wings of the department.