SRINAGAR: Secretary Tourism Rigzin Samphel on Thursday said the department was framing a comprehensive tourism policy to institutionalise tourism sector.
He was speaking as a chief guest at 10th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Travel Agents Association of Kashmir (TAAK) here in Srinagar.
The AGM was attended by travel agents, hoteliers and houseboat owners.
“We need to have a comprehensive tourism policy, updated Tourist Trade Act, besides a separate adventure tourism policy to institutionalize the sector,” he said.
While addressing the tour operators, travel agents and houseboat owners at the AGM, Rigzin Samphel said tour and travel agents are facing a massive challenge to attract tourists to Kashmir in view of the negative perception among the travellers.
He said the department will go whole hog for aggressive marketing outside the state in an effort to dilute the negative perception about Kashmir.
He said travellers are overwhelmed with the hospitality they receive here from locals and the service providers.
The Secretary Tourism also said the department would promote J&K through aggressive advertising campaign and also through road shows in major cities in India.
He also announced the department would organise Kashmir Festival during which they would invite Indian media besides the travel agents from across the country who would see by themselves how tourists are enjoying and holidaying here freely.
Speaking on the occasion, Director Tourism Kashmir, Tasaduq Jeelani urged travel agents to provide better services to the tourists to make their holidays memorable.
He said J&K is the only state in India, which has zero crime record against foreign tourists, and the place is safer than any other place for women travellers.
“Despite being best in the tourism industry with regard to beautiful landscape, unique culture, amazing art and craft, and having most hospitable people, only negative perception is pushing us back. We need to work on perception management to attract tourists to the state,” he said.
He said the department was also planning to organise skill development courses for the services providers, especially in adventure tourism, so that tourists avail their services without risks.