Tourist inflow to Kashmir ‘five times’ more this year than 2020: Union Minister
Source: PIB Srinagar
LG Sinha, Union MoS Tourism Prahlad Singh Patel address event ‘Tapping the Potential of Kashmir: Another Day in Paradise’
Srinagar: The Ministry of Tourism has organised a mega tourism promotion event in Srinagar “Tapping the Potential of Kashmir: Another Day in Paradise” from 11th -13th April, 2021.
The Lt. Governor of Jammu & Kashmir, Manoj Sinha and Union Minister of State for Tourism & Culture Prahlad Singh Patel inaugurated and virtually addressed the delegates at the event.
The Ministry of Tourism, Government of India in association with the Tourism Department of Jammu & Kashmir, Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industries (FICCI) and the Indian Golf Tourism Association (IGTA) have organised this event.
The objective of the event is to showcase the myriad tourism products of the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and promote tourism to Jammu & Kashmir as the destination for leisure, Adventure, Eco, Wedding, films and MICE Tourism.
Secretary Tourism, GoI Arvind Singh; Adviser to Lt. Governor of J&K, Baseer Khan; Secretary Tourism, Government of Jammu & Kashmir Sarmad Hafeez; Additional Director General, MoT, Rupinder Brar and other senior officers were also present at the inaugural session.
During his virtual address, Prahlad Singh Patel said that this event is a new endeavour by Tourism Ministry and other stakeholders to promote tourism in J&K.
The Minister said that Jammu and Kashmir witnessed five time hike in tourists in January 2021 in comparison to January 2020.
“This initiative will further help to revive tourism in the UT,” Patel said adding that “after the abolition of Article 370 and recovering from all the adverse conditions, tourists have started visiting J&K.”
Patel further added that J&K has archaeological, historical and natural beauty.
“We just need to promote them and this type of events play an important role by throwing up new ideas for creating better infrastructure,” he said.
In his virtual address, Manoj Sinha thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allocating Rs 786 crore in the budget this year for development of tourism in UT, which is Rs 509 crore higher than the last time.
Sinha also expressed his gratitude towards Prahlad Singh Patel for his full support in making efforts to restore tourism in the UT.
Sinha added that Jammu & Kashmir has a great tourism potential and the administration will come up with a new film policy very soon, which will bring back the golden film era to Jammu & Kashmir.
Sinha explained that tourism has been badly hit by the pandemic.
“Keeping in mind health and other aspects of people involved, many measures have been taken to ensure safety of visiting tourists. Kashmir as a destination for weddings, film tourism, MICE etc is looked forward to as it offers immense possibilities and we hope that the deliberations at the event will go a long way in showing the way forward,” he said.
The LG further elaborated that for the transformation of the tourism sector, five pillars will remain the focus which include sustainable development for the tourism industry, strengthening the hospitality sector, Human resource development, development of golf and popularisation of food.
Secretary Ministry of Tourism, Arvind Singh said that the ‘Paradise on Earth’ is abundantly blessed with tourism potential.
“Tourism is one of the largest contributors to the economy of the Kashmir region as most of the economic activities are based on tourism and allied services,” he added.
He further said that COVID 19 pandemic has impacted the world in an unprecedented manner and brought it to a standstill. A drastic reduction in human mobility and tourism, suspension of international flights, the closure of airports and borders, the adoption of strict restrictions on travel etc. have caused a prolonged crisis for all the segments of the economy and more so to the tourism industry. However, signs of recovery have been witnessed.
Srinagar has witnessed record tourist visits since December 2020 and as per information all the hotels are completely booked till June 2021. This is a very encouraging news. I am happy for this opportunity to revive Tourism in the state and partner with the stakeholders to develop tourism in the state thereby also providing with employment opportunities to the youth in the state.
Plenary Sessions on 12th April 2021 also included four Panel Discussions on the subjects, ‘Taking Kashmir to the next level as preferred tourist destination’, ‘Making Kashmir more eventful’, Showcasing the Diverse Tourism Products of Kashmir’and ‘Wazwan, Zaffran, and Shikara the story Continues…’ and a ‘Chai Pe Charcha’ with Master Chef Pankaj Bhadouria. The Department of Tourism, Government of Jammu & Kashmir also organized a Laser Show at the famous Dal Lake followed by a Cultural Programme .A Golf Tournament is also being organized at the picturesque Royal Springs Golf Course, Srinagar for important invitees including Diplomats from Kenya and Vietnam.