Secretary Tourism M H Malik has stressed on countering negative media campaign and perception among the travelers about Kashmir.
In his maiden meeting with travel trade and hospitality sector this evening here at SKICC, Secretary said the department tourism is an important sector for the state which provides employment to lakhs of the people.
He said the department of tourism would make all out efforts to promote tourism sector so that more employment is generated also economy is given fillip.
Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood Ahmed Shah, Deputy Director Publicity Peerzada Zahoor besides heads of the travel and hotel associations attended the meeting.
Secretary Tourism also highlighted importance of promoting farm tourism.
He said 2017 has already been announced by the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti as Apple Year and the department would promote the apple orchards of the Valley as tourism products.
“We will have special apple orchards enrotue famous resorts of Gulmarg and Pahalgam so that tourists can visit these orchards,” said Malik
During the interaction the travel trade fraternity raised many issues which they are confronting while providing the services to the tourists.
The issues of rate fixation of the taxis at tourist places, unnecessarily stopping the tourist vehicles at many places, negative media publicity of national electronic media were discussed thoroughly.
They also demanded promotion of adventure tourism, creating of tourism related infrastructure, holding road shows at national and international markets, providing NOCs for the renovation and repair works hotels and houseboats without any hassle, upgradation of tourism infrastructure, promoting MICE, film and golf tourism, organizing FAM tour for travel agents and Media persons, providing adequate tourist police at tourist resorts to avoid overcharging.
Secretary tourism assured the travel trade fraternity that he would try to address all the issues on priority basis.
Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood Ahmed Shah informed the Secretary that the department has already conducted FAM tour for media persons drawn from different states who work with the newspapers published in regional languages.
He said the department is also attending the travel trade fairs in Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore where it has taken adequate space for travel trade fraternity for tourism promotion.
On the occasion, he urged travel trade fraternity to participate in all these upcoming marts and sell their products.
He said the department would continue inviting travel agents and media persons on FAM tour so they promote tourism products.
The heads and the representatives from TASK, TAAK, KHARA, KHAROF, ATOK, AKTO, UTTA, PHAROA, JKTA, TTIG, PILTOF, KHBOA, IATO-JK, TAAI-JK, DTOAK, J&KHC, CII –Kashmir Chapter and NTTA attended the interactive meet.