Travel Agents meet Secy Tourism, raise issues
SRINAGAR: Secretary Tourism, Rigzian Sampheal on Tuesday said that Rs 2000 crore have been earmarked for the development of tourism infrastructure at various destinations in the state under Prime Minister’s Development Plan (PMDP) projects.
Rigzin Sampheal was addressing the office bearers of the Travel Agents Society of Kashmir (TASK) during an interactive meeting here during which the Secretary Tourism was apprised about various issues and problems confronting the travel and hospitality sector.
On the occasion, TASK sought massive marketing through Incredible India promotional campaign of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.
They also demanded upgradation of public infrastructure at tourism resorts and heritage sites besides the launch of laser show at Dal Lake and sound and light show at Shalimar Garden.
TASK also apprised Secretary Tourism of airport immigration problems and hassles in getting airport passes for bonafide tour operators.
They also demanded the classification of hotels and houseboats as per the criteria laid down in the Tourist Trade Act besides fixing their tariffs.
The travel agents also expressed dismay over the dilapidated condition of roads leading to various tourist destinations like Yusmarg, Gurez, Doodhpathri, Toshimaidan and also demanded facilities for the travellers.
Secretary Tourism said the Department is organizing road shows within and outside the country to boost foreign tourist flow to the J&K State.
He informed that there is a 45 per cent increase in the tourist flow from countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and Bangladesh.
On the occasion, Secretary Tourism informed the travel agents that under PMDP projects, GoI has earmarked Rs 2000 crore for development of tourism infrastructure across the state.
He said under the project, the J&K tourism department will identify tourism potential at various destinations, which would be developed in a phased manner.
While giving further details, Samphel said the tourism products on themes including Heritage, Eco, Pilgrimage, Himalayan, Adventure, Safari, Golf etc will be identified and developed at various destinations.
In this regard, he said, the department has directed chief executive officers of various development authorities and other line agencies to submit detailed project reports worth Rs 100 crore per theme and per circuit.
Secretary Tourism also sought suggestions from the travel agents for the planned execution of the resources for sustainable tourism development.
He said the infrastructure will come up with proper planning and develop perfect tourist resorts without compromising on fragile eco-system.
“We are already executing some projects worth Rs 400 crore at various destinations of the State in phase 1 to upgrade tourism infrastructure,” he said.
The TASK was represented by its President Mir Anwar. Others who were present include Mohammad Ibrahim Siah and Showkat Pakhtoon, Senior Vice President Mohammad Hafiz Shala, and Secretary General Athar Yamin Narwari.