SRINAGAR: The Chief Secretary, Dr Arun Kumar Mehta on Wednesday chaired a meeting to review various activities being undertaken by the Tourism Department to highlight and promote new tourist destinations.
Administrative Secretary, Tourism Department along with MD, JKTDC, and concerned officers of the Department participated in the meeting.
It was informed that the Tourism Department is organizing various events to attract local and foreign tourists to the Union territory. Recently, several roadshows have been organized across major cities of the country to promote tourism-related events, activities, and destinations in Jammu and Kashmir.
It was further informed that as a part of Azadi ka Amrit Mohatsav, the Department will organize an iconic week celebration in the last week of October 2021, which will include performances on Hafiz Nagma, Kalam-e-Khusroo, Kalam-e-Baba Fareed, Qawwali, Baul Sufi folk, Darrvish Sufi dance, and Haziri Kathak, besides literary seminar on Sufism and exhibition of local arts, calligraphy, and Sufi traditions.
The Department will also promote destination festivals like Sonamarg Autumn Festival, Pahalgam Winter Festival, Khadinyar Cultural Festival, Gulmarg Snow Festival, Basholi Art Festival, Mata Vaishnodevi Sangeet Samelan, Kishtwar Saffron Plucking Festival, and Suchetgarh Seema Darshan.
Similarly, Autumn and Houseboat festivals; Saffron Festival; Christmas and New Year festivals; and Winter Carnival will be organized to promote Kashmir-based destinations.
To promote rural tourism, it was informed that specific activities will be organized along the identified rural circuits across Jammu and Kashmir, including Hokersar-Parihaspora-Gohan in Gulmarg, Waderbala, Nowgam Mawar- Lolab in Kupwara, Chari-Sharief-Doodhpathri-Yousmarg in Budgam and Saderkoot Payeen- Watlab in Bandipora.
The Chief Secretary asked the Tourism Department to promote 75 new tourist places by developing comprehensive facilities in an integrated manner having adequate provisions of recreational activities, eateries, and restrooms. The Department was asked to organize a 3-month tourism festival from November to January around the new tourist places.
Dr Mehta further directed the Department to preserve, restore, and promote the cultural and architectural heritage of Jammu and Kashmir. He advised the Department to raise awareness about these places by organizing dedicated travel, trekking-expeditions, mountain bike adventures and stays around the identified sites.