JAMMU: Secretary Tourism, Dr. Syed Abid Rasheed Shah, on Saturday stated that Jammu and Kashmir is an all season tourist destination and there is high need to uplift the department with the changing times to tap this immense tourism potential to the fullest.
Secretary said this while chairing a marathon meeting held to review the functioning of Directorates of Tourism Jammu and Kashmir, Mubarakh Mandi Heritage Society (MMHS), Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC), Jammu and Kashmir Cable Car Corporation (JKCCC) and SKICC at Civil Secretariat here.
The meeting was attended by Executive Director, Mubarakh Mandi Heritage Society, Deepika Sharma, Director Tourism Jammu, Vivekananda Rai, MD JKTDC, Minga Sherpa, Director Tourism Kashmir, Faz Lul Haseeb, MD JKCCC, Ghulam Jeelani Zargar, Director SKICC, Javid Bhakshi, Special Secretary Tourism, Director Finance Tourism, Joint Directors, Deputy Directors and other senior officers of the department both in person and through video conferencing.
During the meeting, Dr. Abid had a comprehensive review of performance and functioning of all the agencies with an aim to assess the progress made by these organizations in execution of different ongoing works as well as in promoting tourism in the region and identify areas where improvements can be made.
The meeting also held detailed deliberation on various aspects related to development and promotion of tourism in Jammu and Kashmir, including infrastructure development, promotion of tourism, revenue generation, and implementation of various schemes and initiatives.
While reviewing performance of Directorates of Tourism Jammu/Kashmir, Dr. Abid emphasized on both the Directors to prepare a calendar of activities on monthly basis and organize events at their respective divisions. He also asked them to organize one grand event on monthly basis at any untapped tourist destination so that the tourists as well as locals are attracted towards those places.
Secretary enjoined upon both the Directors to make J&K Tourism Application functional in one month which will act as one stop solution for facilitating tourists coming to Jammu and Kashmir. He underscored that the application should contain the details of all tourist destinations, hotels and other recreational places.
Stressing on the need of amplifying promotional activities, Dr. Abid delved upon both the directors to use the social media effectively for promotion of J&K tourism across the country. He also asked them to establish galleries at counters of Tourism department at Jammu and Srinagar airports which will give virtual tour of major tourist destinations of J&K to visitors.
Secretary further emphasized on the Director Tourism Jammu to revive the religious tourism circuits of Jammu region like Purmandal, Uttarbehni, Sukrala, Shiv Khori and others so that the tourists can have a larger stay in Jammu. He asked them to hold promotional activities on LED screens on major places like Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine, Jammu Tawi Railway Station and other high footfall places.
While reviewing the performance of Mubarakh Mandi Heritage Society, Secretary emphasized upon the officers to revive this prestigious heritage place at the earliest so that it can be brought into tourism circuit of Jammu region. He also asked them to organise grand events of cultural significance at the place so that the people and tourists are attracted towards the place.
Similarly, Secretary reviewed the functioning and performance of JKTDC, JKCCC and SKICC.
Regarding JKTDC, Dr. Abid emphasized upon the MD to upgrade the facilities at all the assets of Corporation so that the visitors have good experience while staying there. He asked the MD to earmark the ratings for hotels of Corporation so that the clients can easily choose best while searching for them online. He also asked him to make the hotels of JKTDC available on all online booking portals.
Assessing other aspects of the Corporation, Secretary asked the management of JKTDC to organize training session for employees of the Corporation in consultation with Food Craft Institute and Institute of Hotel Management.
Addressing the officers, Secretary expressed satisfaction with the progress made by the Tourism Department, JKTDC, and JKCCC in promoting tourism in the region. He appreciated the efforts made by these organizations to develop and promote tourism infrastructure, including construction of new tourism facilities and the renovation of existing ones. He also commended the efforts made by the organizations to promote tourism in the region through various marketing and promotional initiatives.
Secretary also identified areas where improvements can be made. He stressed the need for greater coordination between the Tourism Department, JKTDC, and others to ensure that their efforts are aligned and complementary. He also emphasized the importance of developing new tourism products and experiences to attract more tourists to the region.
Dr. Abid assured the participants that the Government of Jammu and Kashmir is committed to promote tourism in the region and will continue to provide all necessary support to the Tourism Department, JKTDC, and others. He also urged upon the organizations to redouble their efforts to promote tourism in the region and to take necessary steps to address the areas of concern.
During the meeting, the concerned HoDs gave detailed presentations on progress and performance of their respective organizations.