Asks tourism dept to gear up for tourist season, Amarnath Yatra
SRINAGAR: Advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, has asked the administrative secretary, state tourism department, all heads of the departments of the tourism department and chief executive officers of tourism development authorities in the state to gear up for the ongoing tourist season and forthcoming Amarnath Yatra (pilgrimage) as large number of tourists and pilgrims were expected to visit the state after summer vacations in the northern states of India and in July when the Yatra begins.
In a statement, Ganai, who is advisor in-charge tourism department, said that 2019 was likely to witness steady flow of tourists to the state including for Amarnath Yatra and Mata Vaishno Devi.
The advisor said he had issued directions to secretary tourism department to prepare for a tourism festival at Srinagar in the third or fourth week of June to which Indian and international stakeholders will be invited to re-focus attention on J&K as a favoured tourist destination.
Highlighting the huge potential of the state in adventure tourism, the advisor issued instructions to directors of tourism to create special facilities and arrangements for those who want to go for trekking, paragliding, water sports and mountaineering expeditions. He also emphasised on promoting J&K as a high-end golf destination in India.
Inviting suggestions from all tourism stakeholders for increasing the footfall of tourists in the state, Ganai said, “A fresh roadmap has to be prepared to reinvigorate the state’s travel industry which will happen by integrating leisure, adventure, heritage and pilgrim tourism.” He also highlighted the multiplier effect of the tourism sector and directed the department to effectively counter the negative perception being spread about travelling to the state.
Urging private stakeholders to play an active role in building their capacities and creating niche facilities for tourists visiting the state, Ganai described tourism as a pivot around which the state’s economy could be rebuilt in a big way.
“Tourism has a great potential in terms of employment generation and provides vital linkage to the famed handicrafts sector of the state,” he added.
Describing tourism as a vital industry, the advisor reiterated his earlier direction to establish a ‘single window clearance mechanism’ to facilitate private players to boost investment in the state’s tourism sector. He also directed for taking steps to bring in more scenic spots on the tourism map of the state.
The advisor hoped that a large number of tourists like in previous years would visit the state “as now the department and all stakeholders have made adequate preparations for convenience of the tourists”, it added.