SRINAGAR: Secretary, Youth Services, Sports, Culture & Tourism, Sarmad Hafeez reviewed the functioning of Tourism Department in a meeting of officers here Tuesday.
Addressing the meeting, Sarmad Hafeez asked the Department to make all arrangements for the coming seasons as tourism is gradually being opened all across with all COVID protocols and precautions. He said the world has now realized to live with COVID and all activities are being planned accordingly. He said the need has been felt of practicing responsible tourism in view of COVID pandemic and efforts should be made in the direction.
The Tourism Secretary asked the Department to prepare a calendar of activities for the coming seasons with specific themes and projections. He said Jammu & Kashmir has the uniqueness of one stop destination that it presents a unique bouquet of activities and destinations to tourists all around the year. This uniqueness, he added, should be properly marketed in the tourism market for which he asked the Department to make all efforts.
Sarmad Hafeez said as the tourism stakeholders have suffered hugely due to COVID pandemic and the Department appreciates their concerns in this regard. He stressed the need for better and close coordination between the Department and the stakeholders by which the sector would be taken out of this situation.
The Tourism Secretary took a sector wise review of Registration, Publicity, Recreation, Estates, Works sections and stressed on capacity building of available manpower in the Department and in the tourism sector.
Earlier, Director, Tourism, Kashmir, Nisar Ahmad Wani gave a detailed overview of the activities of the Department during the last two years through a PowerPoint presentation. He said the Department is in the process of formulating an activity calendar for the coming seasons. He said the Department so far has disbursed COVID relief among more than 11 thousand tourism stakeholders including Shikarawalas, ponywallas, tourist guides, sledgewallas etc. and cases of many more are in pipeline.
Joint Director, Tourism, Kashmir, Tabassum Shafat Kamili and other senior officers of the Department were present in the meeting.