Srinagar, Dec 25: Advisor to Governor, Khurshid Ahmad Ganai on Tuesday said that over 8.5 lakh domestic and 50,000 foreign tourists have visited Kashmir this year so far and the hotel occupancy at Gulmarg is almost 100 per cent for the New Year. “The tourist arrivals have picked up and more tourists are comings. The bookings have also picked up which can be gauged from the fact that the Gulmarg is fully packed for New Year. This is very encouraging,” Ganai said.
Ganai said that the government will provide all possible assistance to the tourism stakeholders in their efforts to project Kashmir as world’s top tourism destination.
In an interactive session with tourists and tourism players here on the banks of Dal Lake, Ganai urged the service providers and stakeholders to work towards placing famed Kashmir among the world top tourism destinations by the year 2020. He suggested for introducing effective tourist friendly measures to make the stay of the tourists longer in Kashmir. He also stressed on the need to introduce various attractions such as evening cultural shows among other festivals for extending the nightlife.
Stating that Jammu and Kashmir was the safest place for the travellers, Ganai appealed tourists to visit the State—which offers diverse tourism products and unmatched beauty.
Extending greetings to the tourists who had come to celebrate Christmas and new year in Kashmir, the Advisor said for past few months, the tourist footfall here has been encouraging which is the outcome of the untiring promotional activities carried out by the department and by the tour operators.
Ganai said over 8.5 lakh domestic and 50,000 foreign tourists have visited Kashmir this year so far and the hotel occupancy at Gulmarg is almost 100 per cent for the New Year.“The tourist arrivals have picked up and more tourists are comings. The bookings have also picked up which can be gauged from the fact that the Gulmarg is fully packed for New Year. This is very encouraging,” Ganai said.
He also advised travel and tour operators to make a good relationship with the outside state travel agents, tourism promoters. “Travel agents and tour operators must work very hard to convince traveller to visit Kashmir. You have to build upon your contacts and personal relationships with the travel agents from other states who bring tourists here,” he said.
The Advisor also emphasized on providing quality services to the travellers so that they go back with happy memories.
“We are extremely proud of our people whose conduct with tourists is very pleasing. The travel and tour operators are working very hard to bring tourists to Kashmir. We also have to focus on providing the best services to the tourists who will give the best experience to the travellers here in the State,” he said.
Recalling about his recent visit to New Delhi, Ganai said that he has appealed Union Government to make efforts to promote JK Tourism at national and international levels.
Advisor Ganai also exhorted upon the people and the service providers not to compromise on the fragile environment and keep surroundings clean. He stressed on the stakeholders, including non-governmental organizations to come forward and make Kashmir clean and green.
He said that another key issue that comes to the fore was regarding infrastructure. He said at some of the tourist destinations, infrastructure would be given a major facelift.
Director, Department of Tourism, Kashmir Nisar Ahmad Wani also interacted with the tourist and the service providers on the occasion. He assured full support to the service providers in marketing the State as the best tourist destination of the country.
Wani said tourism department will be aggressively promoting the J&K State in the travel marts and road shows outside the State to attract maximum traveller to the State.
Defeat attempts of provocation, maintain traditional amity: Congress appeals people
Jammu, Feb 18: A meeting of Senior Leaders of J&K Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) was held at Jammu to take stock of the current situation in the wake of the suicide attack on the CRPF convoy in Pulwama.
The meeting was presided over JKPCC President G.A. Mir and attended by several senior leaders included former MP, former minister, former legislators and senior functionaries of the party.
The meeting observed two minute silence in memory of all those martyred in the recent attacks including the four army personnel in the encounter at Pulwama today.
The meeting expressed great shock over the loss of precious lives and conveyed deep sympathies with the families of the Martyrs and prayed for the early recovery of the injured. The meeting commended the Security Forces who are fighting and eliminating the terrorists least caring for their lives in order to defend Nation and its citizens.
The meeting reviewed overall scenario in the state and elsewhere in the country following the anger of the Nation over the biggest ever attack on Security forces in the State, which resulted into huge loss of precious lives.
The meeting reiterated the resolve of the Nation to unitedly fight against the terror which is threat to the peace, unity and integrity of the Country.
The meeting felt that the need of the hour is to maintain peace, unity and religious brotherhood at all costs and defeat the nefarious designs of the enemies of our Nation and not to allow such designs to succeed in any manner.
The meeting further said that people should defeat any such attempts of provocation to disturb the traditional amity and brotherhood in Jammu region and elsewhere in the Country. The meeting also extended full cooperation to the Governor’s Administration to maintain peace and normalcy and also appealed all sections of the Society to extend full Cooperation to the law enforcing agencies to ensure peace and communal harmony, so that the security forces carry out their anti-militancy operations to fight and eliminate the menace of terror.
Expressing grave concern over the increasing incidents of Militancy and attack on our Forces both within and on the Borders in the recent past the Party asked the Centre Govt to take more effective and befitting measures to counter Pak sponsored terrorism at all fronts, so as to ensure safety an security of the citizens and our brave soldiers.
PDP marches against attacks on Kashmiris
Srinagar, Feb 17: People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday took out a peace march in state’s summer capital, urging upon the central government to ensure safety of Kashmiris staying at present at different states across the country.
A peace march taken out from PDP’s Srinagar headquarters was led by PDP vice president Abdul Rahman Veeri and also witnessed the participation of senior party leaders including chief spokesman Rafi Ahmad Mir, Khursheed Alam, Asia Naqash, Mohammad Ashraf Mir, Dr Ali Mohammad and several others.
The leaders urged upon the governments of all states in the country to take all requisite measures so that minorities and people hailing from Kashmir valley aren’t targeted, harassed or intimidated.
The leaders also conveyed concern over the smear campaign launched against Kashmiris by few fanatic groups, exposing the already perturbed people to greater risks.
They also pitched for communal harmony and tolerance in Jammu region wherein few elements are out to defame the brotherhood and communal harmony about which Jammu region is known for centuries.
Meanwhile, PDP General Secretary Ghulam Lone Hanjura has urged the government t6 ensure safety of students studying in country’s various colleges and universities. Hanjura said that it is deeply concerning that the students have been made soft targets and are being harassed without any fault. He demanded adequate security to Kashmiri students, employees, patients who are staying in various states and also underscored the need of restoring law & order so that further untoward incidents are avoided.
Attacks on Kashmiris: Whose purpose do the mobs serve, asks Omar
Srinagar, Feb 17: Kashmir is not just a piece of land, it is the people that inhabit it, National Conference vice-president Omar Abdullah asserted on February 17, saying by attacking Kashmiris, they were being told there is no place for them outside the Valley and no future in the mainland.
“Young Kashmiri students studying outside J&K should have been feted as examples of people who have stayed away from the politics & conflict in Kashmir, choosing instead to make a future for themselves. By attacking them, terrorising them & forcing them to find shelter they are being told there is no place for them outside the valley & no future in the mainland (sic),” Mr. Abdullah tweeted.
The former Chief Minister’s remarks came following reports of attacks on Kashmiris in Jammu and harassment of Kashmiri students at places outside the State.
Abdullah said the enemy has been trying to drive a wedge between the people in Kashmir Valley and the rest of the country and asked whose purpose was being served by “ostracising Kashmiris”.
“Those hotheads that make up the mobs doing this damage need to ask themselves (if they have the mental bandwidth) whose purpose is served by ostracising Kashmiris. Our enemies & those who back terrorism in J&K have been trying to drive this wedge so please please let’s not do their job for them. Kashmir isn’t just a piece of land, it’s the people that inhabit it (sic),” he said.