Effective coordination mandatory for revival of tourism across the country: Tourism Minister

SRINAGAR: Union Minister of State for Culture and Tourism (IC) Prahlad Singh Patel Tuesday held a virtual meeting with the State Tourism Ministers and Administrators of Union Territories for revival of tourism activities across the country.
Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Baseer Ahmad Khan and Secretary Tourism, Youth Services and Sports, Sarmad Hafeez participated in the meeting on behalf of J&K Government.
In his address, the Union minister said that COVID-19 pandemic has affected the tourism activities across the world and with the easing of restrictions through Unlock 5.0, the tourism activities will be revived in India. He added that effective coordination between centre, states and UTs is mandatory for successful revival of the tourism industry.
The Minister further asked the participants to facilitate ease of travel between states and UTs for promotion of domestic tourism. He impressed upon them to explore possibilities of providing incentives to Tourism and Hospitality sectors of their respective places as they have been worst affected due to COVID-19 pandemic.
Prahlad Patel impressed upon the ministers and representatives of states/UTs to maintain all public utilities, hotels and other places along their respective National Highways under proper COVID protocols so that tourists feel at ease while travelling and staying along these places.
Speaking during the meeting, Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Baseer Ahmad Khan informed the minister that J&K is a potential tourist place receiving tourists from all across the world in large numbers. He added that the tourism sector contributes around 7-8% to the annual GDP of J&K.
The Advisor further informed the minister that the J&K Administration has already put in place a proper policy for revival and survival of the tourism sector besides a mechanism for facilitation of tourists intending to visit J&K. He added that the policy of the System for Assessment, Awareness and Training for Hospitality Industry (SAATHI) has been effectively rolled out here for hassle free facilitation of tourists.
Advisor Baseer Khan informed the minister that the pilgrimage tourism is also going on smoothly in J&K and a circuit from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine to Kashmir will be made operational soon for increasing the tourist influx.
Advisor Baseer Khan further informed the minister that Khelo India 2020 winter games will be held in J&K by which a good number of tourists and sports persons are expected to arrive here. He asked the minister to cap the air fares during peak winter season when the roads get blocked due to adverse weather conditions besides additional flights during this period.

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