Department of Tourism Kashmir in collaboration with Adventure Tour Operators Association of Kashmir (ATOAK), Thursday organized Kashmir Rafting Marathon Thursday at Wussun, Ganderbal.
While, Minister for Public Works Naeem Akthar calling upon the youth to become ambassadors of the state to highlight the positive stories from their part of the world.
The minister was speaking at the prize distribution ceremony of the Kashmir Rafting Marathon.
While expressing happiness over the successful conclusion of rafting championship, the minister said youth are the icons and the ambassadors of the J&K state who can change negative perception and crate new impression of Kashmir.
“Tourists were our ambassadors but as now their arrivals are low, it is you who have to come up and become the ambassadors. You have to show to the world what we are capable of and create new impression about Kashmir,” said Naeem.
The minister also urged upon the officers of the tourism department to take the role of leadership and involve youth from schools for adventure activities.
Speaking on the occasion, Secretary Tourism, M H Malik while complementing the teams for their participation in the event said Ganderbal has huge potential for adventure tourism.
“We will organize more such events in the future. Youth should come forward and we will not hesitate in funding such activities. We should not only hold Kashmir marathon but also national and international events in adventure sports,” said Malik.
Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah said the department is vigorously promoting adventure sports in Kashmir.
“The adventure tourism also provides opportunity for entrepreneurs. We have been organizing training camps in rock climbing and other adventure sports activities to involve youth who later earn their livelihood by conducting such activities.”
Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal Dr. Piyush Singhla who also spoke on the occasion said that tourism is the game changer for Kashmir, adding that district Ganderbal has got huge tourism potential, especially in adventure sports.
President ATOAK Rauf Tramboo also spoke on the occasion and highlighted the importance of adventure tourism.
Earlier, Deputy Commissioner Ganderbal, Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah flagged off the 5 kilometer race at 11 am at Wussun Rafting Point which culminated at Wayil Bridge.
As many as eleven teams participated in the event, J&K Civil Defense finished first while as ATOAK bagged second and Living Kashmir Club finished fourth.
The other teams who participated in the event include J&K Ski and Mountaineering Association Srinagar, Tourism department Kashmir, J&K Mountaineering and Hiking Club, Kashmir University, Islamia College of Science and Commerce, Kashmir Rafting Operators Association, Central University of Kashmir Ganderbal, Kashmir University South Campus, Glacier Mountaineering Club Anantnag.