Srinagar: The India Today Tourism Survey has chosen J&K Tourism for best adventure tourism destination award. The awards were given away at New Delhi by Union Minister of State for Culture & Parliamentary Affairs, Arjun Ram Meghwal yesterday at a glittering function after the results of the survey were announced.
The award has been given to the Tourism Department in recognition of its sustained efforts in promoting Gulmarg as an adventure destination of international order.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Meghwal highlighted the value of tourism in contributing to the GDP of the country. He said Tourism can increase all the three components of the GDP—consumption through domestic travel, investment through the booming private sector and exports through the sale of locally made handicrafts and products to foreign tourists.
In his address, Union Tourism Secretary, Arvind Singh gave an overview of the steps being taken by the Union Government to further improve the tourism sector.
Editor, India Today Group, Raj Chengappa welcomed the participant States and UTs and gave a broad outline of the survey.
The award was received by Deputy Director, Tourism, Alyas Ahmad on behalf of the Department.
Ministers from Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, representatives of Tourism Boards of several states and UTs, representatives of national travel trade and business bodies were present on the occasion.
On the sidelines of the event, discussions on best practices and sustainable tourism were held.
It may be recalled that the India Today award comes just within a month of the South Asian Travel Trade Expo(SATTE), one of the best trade expos in the country in which the J&K Tourism Department was awarded for its efforts in post COVID-19 recovery of the tourism sector.
It is in place to mention here that last year J&K received a record number of tourists and the Department for the last two years has been consistently diversifying its tourism products which has gone well among the tourists.
The Department during the last two years has taken several new initiates for the quick revival of tourism in the UT. This winter, besides Gulmarg, resorts of Pahalgam, Sonamarg, Doodhpathri and other resorts were kept open and these destinations received a considerable footfall.
Besides, new trekking routes, rafting and adventure activities were added to the recreation portfolio for sustaining the interest of coming tourists. This is besides the opening of new areas like Gurez and other border areas for tourism which have enhanced the attraction and urge for visiting J&K. Last year Gurez was adjudged as the best offbeat destination in the country.