Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir LG’s Advisor Baseer Ahmed Khan Monday said that as the temperatures will rise across the country in the next few months, J&K is all set to witness a bumper tourism season as a record number of tourists are expected to visit Kashmir and explore its beauty and hospitality.
Addressing the two-brainstorming conference on Tapping the Tourism Potential—Another Day in Paradise—at SKICC here, Advisor Khan said that the conference is all set to end on a very fruitful, constructive and positive note. “There will be a roadmap after thorough deliberations on how to promote Kashmir’s tourism potential and the road map will be followed in spirit,” he said.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic posed a big challenge for the J&K UT administration last year but the administration decided to move ahead to promote tourism knowing the fact that Tourism industry is the backbone of Kashmir’s economy.
“A series of roadshows were conducted and webinars held to lure tourists and promote Kashmir’s rich culture, tradition, ethos and tourism potential,” he said and expressed his satisfaction that the plan worked as the Valley saw record number of tourists coming from December 2020 to March 2021. “I am glad to put it on record that there was a huge tourist influx in Kashmir during winters. Jammu areas too witnessed a good number of tourist arrivals which encouraged the UT administration to go further to resurrect the tourism industry.”
Recalling his personal experience during the winters 2020-2021, Advisor Khan said one of his friends arrived in Kashmir and he couldn’t get the hotel accommodation anywhere given the tourist rush. “I even called so many hotels, houseboats and the only reply I got was there are no rooms available. It was after hectic efforts, I lodged my friend in a government guest house,” he said.
Hoping the number of tourist arrivals will increase manifold in the next three to four months, Advisor Khan said that when the rest of the states in India would blister in the scorching heat, Kashmir would witness a tourism boom. “Temperatures will rise across India in coming months and we are witnessing record number of tourist arrivals and bumper tourism season in summers,” he said.
Advisor Khan said new tourist destinations are being explored and there is a long list before the UT administration. “Our primary focus is to ensure basic infrastructure at the new tourist destinations so that tourists enjoy their stay hassle free,” he said.
Advisor Khan said that to facilitate the trekkers, trekking routes are being repaired across the UT to provide a better chance for the tourist to trek on slopes and mountains of Kashmir. “We will soon showcase new tourist places across the UT as steps to put in place infrastructure are afoot,” he said—(KNO)