JKTA holds 15th AGM: Tourist footfall from SE Asia encouraging, says Secy Tourism

JKTA holds 15th AGM: Tourist footfall from SE Asia encouraging, says Secy Tourism
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Dept to organise ‘Kashmir Autumn Festival’

SRINAGAR: Secretary Tourism Rigzin Samphel on Saturday said the tourist footfall from South East Asian countries was increasing “which is an encouraging sign”.
He said the department was organising ‘Kashmir Autumn Festival’ from October 25 to October 27 at Srinagar, Pahalgam and Gulmarg in which 100 delegates from travel and media industry have been invited to showcase the state’s tourism potential and counter negative perception.
“We will be inviting the leading tourism destination sellers from across the country on a FAM tour here during the festival so that they get the first-hand experience of how beautiful the Valley is and how freely the tourists are enjoying holidays and local hospitality. This will help us counter negative perception to a greater extent,” he said.
Samphel was speaking at the 15th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Alliance (JKTA).
An award ceremony honouring veterans of the travel and hospitality sector, its founder members and past presidents besides media persons was also held during the AGM, an official handout read.
Commissioner Secretary Culture, Mohammad Saleem Shishgar, Secretary Information, Youth Service and Sports, Sarmad Hafeez, Director Tourism Kashmir, Tasaduq Jeelani, Special Secretary School Education, Mohammad Hussain Mir, Deputy Directors, Masrat Hashim and Sarfarz Mohammad were also present.
While complementing JKTA for holding its AGM, Secretary Information, Youth Service and Sports, Sarmad Hafeez said “tourism industry has always bounced back and is the resilient sector”.
He said the local travel fraternity worked very hard for the success of Travel Agents Association of India convention held in Srinagar which helped improve general perception about Kashmir.
“People all over the country want to visit Kashmir. We need to tell them positive stories from J&K. Most of the time, media plays up circumstances here but there are hundreds of the other positive stories which are worth sharing and can help build confidence among travellers to visit Kashmir,” he said.
Special Secretary School Education, Mohammad Hussain Mir said besides other tourism products, J&K State has to exploit the potential MICE, golf, wedding and educational tourism.
He said if school and college tours were organised here, the students will definitely motivate their parents to visit Kashmir for holidaying, the handout added.