Kolkata: The department of tourism Kashmir organized Travel Show at Kolkata which saw participation of over 150 travel agents from West Bengal. The Travel Show was organized in collaboration with the Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Owners Federation to further strengthen the state’s relationship in tourism with the West Bengal where from Kashmir receives major chunk of tourists.
During the show, Director Tourism Kashmir gave a detailed presentation on J&K’s tourism potential and said that J&K offers breathtaking beauty during all the seasons of the year. He spoke at length on state’s landscape besides its heritage, culture, art and craft and food.
In his keynote address, Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah said J&K receives good tourist footfall from West Bengal especially Kolkata.
“We are here to rebuild that bond between Kashmir and Kolkata and invite the people of this place to our scenic locations. We have been receiving good support from the travel agents and tour operators from Kolkata who have been sending tourists to J&K in large number from many decades,” said Mahmood A Shah.
Director tourism said the visitors from Kolkata have been mostly visiting J&K in October during their holidays but they miss the beautiful colors and hues of the Kashmir landscape during other seasons.
“J&K state offers breathtaking beauty in all the seasons. Each season is better than other. Snow in winter, flower blossoms in spring, endless meadows in summer and crimson chinars leaves in autumn make J&K a round-the-year destination. We are also here to pitch J&K as round the year destination,” he said.
Appealing corporate sector to make Kashmir as their MICE destination, he said Kolkata is one of the most developing and happening cities where big corporate house have established their set up.
“We are probably the best place for MICE tourism. We have the world class conferencing facilities where corporate houses won’t only enjoy their business meetings but also enjoy the natural wonders we have been endowed with,” he said.
He said the corporate people can have their meetings and conferences at SKICC, play golf at Royal Springs Golf Course at walking distance, visit famous Mughal Gardens, enjoy shikara ride, revel in mountain biking or hill running at Zabarwan hills, shop for Kashmir’s art and craft and after day’s hectic schedule will stay in a houseboat to unwind at calm and serene locations of shimmering Dal Lake and all these things happen within one kilometer of radius. Such unique combination of tourism won’t happen anywhere in the country.
While citing the examples of many women solo travelers who enjoyed their visits to Kashmir, Director Tourism also apprised them about the how safe Kashmir was for tourists.
He said J&K is the first state in the country having its own tourist police.
“Even if there was no tourist police, Kashmiris are known for their hospitality and they are the biggest security. Our hospitality is our USP which attracts tourists to Kashmir. J&K is the only state in India which has zero crime record against tourists,” he said.
He said the department is aggressively promoting J&K’s through social media which has helped us lot in dispelling the negative impression of security issues in J&K.
“Check our social media. We have hundreds of the videos posted there where in tourists from all over the globe only praise Kashmir’s hospitality and also express satisfaction about their security. They express how more safe they feel in J&K than other states.”
Regional Director East Region JP Shaw who was the chief guest on the occasion said he would promote Kashmir under incredible India campaign
In his welcome address President KHAROF Abdul Wahid Malik announced 30 percent discounted offer for the spring and summer season from the hotels in Kashmir associated with the Federation in order to attract tourists.
He said KHAROF members have finest properties with state of the art infrastructure in place for the comfort and convenience of our valued guests.
“We are announcing 30 per cent rebate on our tariffs so that we encourage maximum travellers visiting Kashmir from this place. We have been doing business with the travel and tours operators from Kolkata for decades and this time again we are here to rebuild that bond and relationship and enhance our business partnerships,” he said.
KHAROF is one of the largest hotel organizations in Kashmir having over 600 members who have been providing exemplary services to the guests.