VERINAG: Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta today said Verinag is an important tourist destination and constant efforts are being made to enhance the destination with modern state-of-the-art tourist infrastructure.
He made these remarks in his virtual address during the concluding ceremony of the two-day multi-activity event ‘South Kashmir Adventure’ organized by the Directorate of Tourism Kashmir. Secretary Tourism and Culture, Deputy Commissioner Anantnag, Director Tourism, CEO Verinag, renowned artists and locals participated in the event.
Maintaining that tourism promotion is a top priority of the government, the Chief Secretary said that Verinag offers scenic beauty at par with other major tourist destinations and all efforts are being taken to tap its full potential.
Chief Secretary said that there are certain things that are lacking but it is the endeavour of the government to ensure that the shortcomings are addressed immediately and all the facilities are available to the tourists. He said that the coming times will be much better for the locals as the youth of the Valley have the vision to move forward.
He said that the serenity and hospitality of the place is mesmerizing and has the potential to attract tourist from all over the world.
Dr Mehta also interacted with the locals and adventure enthusiasts who thanked the government for upscaling the infrastructure and organising adventure and cultural events for the promotion of the tourism sector which adds to the economy of the local populace.
Secretary Tourism, Dr Syed Abid Rasheed Shah in his address said that the Jammu and Kashmir government is launching new initiatives and attractions for tourists to enjoy which can have a positive impact on the local economy.
He said that Jammu and Kashmir has much more to offer than just its natural beauty – it has the potential to become a hub for adventure tourism. He said that activities such as trekking, mountaineering, skiing, river rafting, and paragliding are all examples of adventure tourism and Kashmir has all the necessary ingredients to become a popular destination for adventure tourism as it has some of the highest mountains in the world which offer excellent opportunities for trekking and mountaineering.
Secretary Tourism further said that promoting adventure tourism has several benefits that can help to diversify the tourism industry by attracting a new segment of tourists who are interested in exploring the great outdoors and seeking new challenges.
During the two-day multi-activity event, participants from various parts of the valley displayed remarkable enthusiasm in engaging in diverse activities such as cycling, mountain biking, ATV riding, trekking, and off-roading. The event was not only aimed to encourage adventure seekers but also to advocate astro-tourism in the region. The expedition traversed through the locales, including Kokernag, Daksum, Sinthan Top, and returned to Kokernag for the night stay.
On the second day, the expedition started from Kokernag to Achabal, Chatpal, and concluded at Verinag where a cultural night including events like star gazing, musical events, and other entertainment activities were held mesmerizing the audience.
The stellar performance of popular Kashmiri folk singer Noor Mohammad was a breathtaking one. The audience was enthralled by various other singers and dance groups’ performances during the event which drew a large crowd.
The Directorate of Tourism, Kashmir extended heartfelt appreciation to all participants, stakeholders, and dedicated volunteers associated with the event and aims to hold more such events in the future for the promotion of the tourism sector.