Srinagar: Tourism to Kashmir has declined and it can only be picked up by changing the negative perception of the Valley that Indian news networks have created, said Mahmood Ahmad Shah, Director Tourism, on Friday.
Shah was speaking at an event related to the upcoming India Travel Expo (ITE) Kashmir, sponsored by Flashback Showcase (P) limited. The ITE Kashmir is scheduled to be held from September 29 to October 1. The aim of the expo is to change the face of tourism in Kashmir to showcase the valley’s street food and ‘Wazwan’.
“The Indian news networks are not sincere in the reportage when it comes to Kashmir,” Shah said. “The negative portrait of Kashmir is one of the major factors behind the decline of tourism in Kashmir,” Shah said.
Friday’s event was organised to bring together different sectors of business in Kashmir with the official departments of tourism, handicrafts, horticulture and floriculture.
Speaking at the event, Ravi Arora, Managing Director of Flashback Showcase (P) Limited, said, “We are working to change the perception of the people outside Kashmir who have not visited here. We are doing so by highlighting the lesser-known tourist spots of the valley and our main objective is to build a community of buyer and seller between businesses and MICE segments.”
“The event wouldn’t have been possible without the tourism department and travel and trade bodies of Kashmir. The event is aimed at facilitating the uplift of tourism in Kashmir, particularly at this stage when the state’s tourism is passing through its worst phase,” said Aijaz Wani, Project director ITE.
The conference was also attended by tourism deputy director Riyaz Ahmad Baig.