Srinagar: Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Sarmad Hafeez reviewed Kashmir’s tourism scenario during a joint meeting of tour operators and Department officers here today.
Chairing the meeting, the Tourism Secretary said that due to the coordinated efforts of stakeholders and the Department, the past few months have witnessed encouraging and unexpected tourist attendance. He said the Department’s decision to open destinations like Sonamarg and Doodpathri during winters has yielded encouraging results. He expressed his optimism that the coming months would bring many tourists and asked stakeholders to prepare for it in terms of facilities and logistics.
Sarmad Hafeez said the government is working to promote UT’s tourism potential on a larger scale in collaboration with stakeholders. He revealed that as the Covid situation in the country improves, the Department will again undertake promotional activities in various tourist markets in the country. “We strive to improve the experience of tourists by introducing new and more concepts,” he said referring to the floating theater in Dal and recently launched a city tour for tourists by the Department.
The Tourism Secretary has sought the support and cooperation of stakeholders to further promote the 75 offbeat destinations identified by the Department through J&K. He also advised them to offer attractive and competitive packages so that more and more tourists are persuaded to visit J&K.
Tour operators have praised the Department of Tourism’s efforts in promoting Jammu and Kashmir nationally and internationally, which they say has even won accolades in many parts of the country. They brought numerous issues to the attention of the tourism secretary and sought redress.
Earlier, the Director of Tourism in Kashmir, Dr. GN Itoo gave a summary of the scenario of tourism in the Kashmir Valley and the efforts made by the Department to harness the potential and promote it across the country.
Senior officials from the Department and representatives of various tourism professional bodies were present at the meeting.
Later, the tourism secretary, in a separate meeting of officers, ordered the heads of various sections of the department to make preparations for the coming spring season. He specifically spearheaded the design of an activity schedule and exploring the possibilities of starting some adventure activities like hot air ballooning, paragliding and parasailing in various tourist spots in Kashmir. He also insisted on putting up signs for roadside facilities and billboards on highways leading to tourist destinations.
Later, Sarmad Hafeez walked around the tourist welcome center and inspected various facilitation counters provided for tourists.