Advisor to the Governor, Khurshid Ahmed Ganai, has asked the Administrative Secretary, State Tourism Department, all Heads of the Departments of the Tourism Department and Chief Executive Officers of Tourism Development Authorities in the State to gear up for the ongoing tourist season and forthcoming Amarnath Yatra as large number of tourists and pilgrims are expected to visit the State after summer vacations in the northern states of the country and in July when the Yatra begins.
In a statement, Ganai, who is Advisor in-charge Tourism Department, said 2019 is likely to witness steady flow of tourists to the State including for Amarnath Yatra and Mata Vaishno Devi.
The Advisor said he has issued directions to Secretary Tourism Department to prepare for a Tourism Festival at Srinagar in the third or fourth week of June to which national and international stakeholders will be invited to re-focus attention on J&K as a favoured tourist destination for which it is known the world over.
Highlighting the huge potential of the State in adventure tourism, the Advisor issued instructions to Directors of Tourism to create special facilities and arrangements for those who want to go for trekking, paragliding, water sports and mountaineering expeditions. He also laid emphasis on promoting J&K as a high-end golf destination in the country.
Inviting suggestions from all tourism stakeholders for increasing the footfall of tourists in the State, the Advisor said a fresh roadmap has to be prepared to reinvigorate the State’s travel industry which will happen by integrating leisure, adventure, heritage and pilgrim tourism. He also highlighted the multiplier effect of the tourism sector and directed the Department to effectively counter the negative perception being spread about travelling to the State.
Urging private stakeholders to play an active role in building their capacities and creating niche facilities for tourists visiting the State, Ganai described tourism as a pivot around which the State’s economy can be rebuilt in a big way. “Tourism has a great potential in terms of employment generation and provides vital linkage to the famed handicrafts sector of the State,” he added.
Describing tourism as a vital industry, the Advisor reiterated his earlier direction to establish a ‘single window clearance mechanism’ to facilitate private players to boost investment in the State’s tourism sector. He also issued directions for taking steps to bring in more scenic spots on the tourism map of the State.
The Advisor expressed the hope that a large number of tourists like in previous years would visit the State as now the Department and all stakeholders have made adequate preparations for the convenience of the tourists.