JAMMU: Minister of State for Tourism and Culture, Priya Sethi Saturday said that efforts to divert pilgrims and other domestic as well as foreign tourists to different places of interest in Jammu have started generating desired results with yatris of Shri Amarnath Ji Cave shrine visiting places like Ambaran and Suchetgarh border during past two days. Persistent development and liberal flow of funds from Centre were helping retain tourists which in turn are adding to state’s economy in a big way, she added.
The Minister was speaking after flagging off the special ‘Jammu Darshan’ bus service for the pilgrims at Yatri Niwas Bhagwati Nagar in presence of large number of Shri Amarnathji Yatris and officials from tourism department.
Priya Sethi said that special focus is being laid on tourism promotion for which state has been assured by centre to provide Rs 400 crore yearly under PMs special package of Rs 2000 core..
Speaking on the occasion, the Minister said that special prayers held at Akhnoor attracted a large number of pilgrims and the government intends to develop more such places of attraction in near future. Heritage sites, museums, parks, gardens, lakes and centuries old religious places of Jammu have all been put on the itinerary of tourists. ‘Development works on these sites besides other tourist places in the region are going on with sole aim of adding more facilities for the conveniences of pilgrims’, she added.
She said promotion of tourism is the top priority of government for which even the Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti has left no stone unturned. Several places on tourist attraction in Srinagar, Ladakh, Poonch, Rajouri, Bani and Basohli are also being developed on the directions of Chief Minister, who herself is very keen to make Jammu and Kashmir blink on world tourism map.
Lauding the efforts of officials of tourism department in organizing Bus rides for visitors and pilgrims, the Minister for tourism said, ‘we have made arrangements to facilitate tourist visits to sites falling within 40 km area of Jammu city which is attracting several pilgrims as well’.
Earlier, the Minister also inaugurated upgraded Tourist Information Centre at Tourist Reception Centre (TRC). The centre showcases pictorial presentations to guide state visitors about the potential tourist spots of Jammu division.
Director Tourism, Jammu Smita Sethi also spoke on the occasion and gave detailed resume of tourism promotional activities in the region.
On the occasion, the Minister also released a magazine ’A serene Splendour’ containing articles having exhaustive information about geographical, cultural and demographic profile of state’s three major regions, Kashmir, Jammu and Ladakh.
The book has been published by Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh Tourism Promotion Council and is compiled by V K Sehgal.
Joint Director Tourism, Vishesh Mahajan, Deputy Director Tourism, Subah Mehta and other senior officer, officials of tourism department were present on the occasion.