BGSBU Organizes Webinar to discuss the Revival of Tourism Industry

Srinagar: Baba Ghulam Shah Badshah University Rajouri organized a national webinar on Covid-19: A Wake-up call for the survival and revival of the tourism industry. Prof. Javed Musarrat, Vice chancellor of the University inaugurated the webinar. Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Musarrat said that The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the tourism industry across the globe with the domestic and international tourist traffic plunged sharply since March as most of the countries have imposed travel restrictions due to the virus outbreak. Prof. Musarrat said that with fear and uncertainty looming on the future of the businesses across various sectors, hospitality and tourism is one of the worst-hit sectors resulting in huge job losses, pay cuts and revenue losses. Prof. Musarrat stressed upon the need of robust policy making and much needed interventions for the survival and revival of the tourism industry.
Speaking at the webinar, Mr. Steve Borgia, Chairman & Managing director INDeco hotels said that post Covid-19 tourism will not be the same. He said that while the economy is opening up the focus should be on domestic tourism. Mr. Steve said that Covid-19 has taught us to be sustainable and the growth in the tourism industry is inevitable. He said that post Covid-19 tourism will travel deeper into rural India and highlighted the role of local communities in sustainable development of the tourism industry.
Mahmood shah, Director Industries and Commerce said that the tourism Industry in Jammu and Kashmir has huge potential not only to survive but thrive. He said that the government has been making efforts to bring back the glory of the tourism industry in Jammu and Kashmir. He mentioned that given the pandemic, mass tourism will take time to revive and there is an opportunity to look at different segments which can bring some sort of life in the industry like adventure tourism and pilgrimage tourism.
Speaking on the occasion Rakesh Wazir, President, Hotel & Restaurant Association of Katra said that there will be a turnaround in the tourism industry ofJammu and Kashmir if the stay of almost one crore pilgrims visiting Shri Mata Vashina devi Shrine can be extended for a day. He said the pandemic has affected more than 4 lacs stakeholders including hoteliers, daily wage workers and others associated with SMVD shrine. He stressed on the restructuring of policy formwork of tourism Industry to bring unknown destinations on the tourism map of the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Saurabh Ratan , CEO, Aquinas Hospitality highlighted three pronged policy- long term, medium term and short term. He said that the PPP model will help in bringing sustainability in the tourism Industry. He also stressed on the need for immediate cash flows to meet working capital requirements and avoid unmanageable layoffs.
Saleem Beg, Ex DG Tourism said that government intervention is critical for the survival of the tourism industry. He mentioned that the tourism Industry in J&K is linked to many ancillary and allied sectors which are also badly hit. He mentioned that the government should look for the survival of all such related trades while strategizing the strengthening of the tourism Industry. He stressed on the need of retaining the human resources in the industry during the pandemic and said that there is a need to bring innovations in the industry to make it more affordable for the local customers.

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