Principal Secretary, Tourism, Navin Kumar Choudhary on Friday chaired an interactive session with representatives of various tourism associations and other stakeholders of the tourism industry.
Director Tourism Kashmir, Nisar Ahmad Wani, Director Tourism Jammu, Deepika Kumari Sharma, Additional Secretary Tourism Prasanna Ramaswamy, officials from JKTDC, Tourism Department, representatives of various tourism associations including Nigeen Club Association, JK Tourism Alliance, House Boat Owners Association, Kashmir Hoteliers Club, Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries and others concerned attended the interactive session, the spokesman said.
Speaking on the occasion, the Principal Secretary called for practising modern marketing strategies to portray tourism potential of the State in the international market besides using social media effectively as a promotional tool to attract more tourist footfall to the State.
He also stressed on cooperation among the associations related to the tourism sector in order to promote Jammu and Kashmir as an ideal and safe tourist destination. He also said the Department has finalized the promotional programme for next six months, which will be primarily done through outdoor marketing campaigns including promotions through billboards at major cities of the country, inside airports, transit ads on metros and railway and advertisement in airline magazines.
The Principal Secretary said the Department will organize several Familiarisation (FAM) trips of leading travel agents, tour operators, media houses from different parts of the country to Kashmir besides embarking on outdoor advertising campaign at many major cities
He further said the Department will also organize a meet with ambassadors at New Delhi in an effort to remove the travel advisories from different countries.
Choudhary said that the J&K has abundant potential in varied forms of tourism and attracts a large number of adventure seekers given the topography and virgin slopes in the State. In this regard, he called for identification and documentation of trekking routes and proper promotion of the same.
He directed the Tourism Department that a proper mechanism should be put in place for registration and booking of tourists. He advised them that a robust website should be made functional and all sectors related to tourism should be interlinked with it for the ease of tourists.
Speaking during the meet, the representatives of different associations raised various issues related to the tourism sector like regulation of airfares, permission for the renovation of houseboats, reimbursement of GST, restoration of Dal Lake and Nigeen Lake etc.
The Principal Secretary assured the tourist association representatives that all of their genuine issues will be redressed in a time-bound manner.