SRINAGAR: Secretary Tourism Rigzin Sampheal on Friday convened a meeting with the representatives of travel and hospitality sector here to chalk out the strategy for the successful conduct of the 3-day Kashmir Autumn Festival being held from October 25 to 27, 2018.
The meeting decided that the inaugural day function and other events would be held in Srinagar followed by events at Pahalgam and Gulmarg on the next two days.
Secretary Tourism said the aim of the festival is to offset negative perception which travelers have about Kashmir and also showcase autumn season of the state.
He said the conduct of the festival would create a necessary buzz about Kashmir tourism and would send a positive message across the globe that “Kashmir is a tourist-friendly and safe destination”.
He said the department would make the festival an annual affair and keep its dates fixed in its calendar of activities so that the travellers can sync their tour itineraries with the dates of the festival in advance, an official handout read.
While stating that state is bestowed with natural beauty, landscape, and diverse culture, Sampheal said the festival would provide a firsthand experience of all the tourism products of the state to the guests, read the handout.
During the meeting, it was decided that India’s leading travel agents and tour operators, heads of various Indian travel and hotel associations, MICE operators, golf promoters, celebrities from film industry especially those who have shot regularly in Kashmir, bloggers, print and electronic media both national and leading regional media houses from different states will be invited to witness diverse tourism products here.
Sightseeing to premier tourist attractions and resorts, shikara rides and houseboat cruise, Jhelum cruise, visit to historical monuments and heritage sites in the city, musical evenings, adventure and water sports activities, live exhibition of handicrafts by veteran artisans, exhibition of horticulture and other allied products, networking with the local tour operators, hoteliers and houseboats owners will be the key features of the festival, the handout further read.
On the occasion, Director Tourism Kashmir Tasaduq Jeelani called upon the local tour operators, hoteliers and houseboat owners to avail the opportunity of the presence of best tours operators of India by networking with them for business opportunities.
He stressed upon the travel trade bodies to give discounted packages in the autumn season to attract a good number of tourists during the festival.
He assured that the department would make foolproof arrangements and preparations for the smooth and hassle-free conduct of the festival, the handout added.
Deputy Director Publicity Riyaz Ahmad Shah, Deputy Director Recreation Mohammad Sarfaraz and other concerned were also present in the meeting.
Earlier, the Secretary Tourism expressed grief over the demise of veteran tourism player Mohammad Azim Tuman and conveyed his sympathies with the bereaved family.