SRINAGAR: Buoyant by the encouraging rush of Tourists during the winter months, the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department has kick-started extensive Spring and Summer Tourism promotional campaigns across major cities of the country to pull in the massive domestic tourist market available that is keen to move out and spend holidays with their loved ones after COVID Pandemic forced people to remain indoors for months together.
As part of the promotional drive, J&K Tourism is organizing Tourism Road Shows in Cities spread across all corners of the Country with the active involvement of the various Tour and Travel Associations of J&K.
As part of the tourism promotional outreach, a grand Road Show was organized in the eastern city of Bhubaneswar in Odisha.
The Tourism Promotional Show was organized in collaboration with the Kashmir Houseboat Owners Association (KHBOA) with Ideel Saleem, Deputy Director, Publicity, J&K Tourism Department and Ashwani Gupta, Deputy General Manager, J&K Tourism Development Corporation representing the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department. The KHBOA was led by its Chairman, Hamid Wagnoo.
Sachin Ramachandra Jadhav, Director Tourism Odisha, Deputy Director Tourism, Odisha Government, Dr R K Pattanayak, Rashmi Sonia Tirkey, Manager India Tourism, Bubnaeshwar graced the occasion and participated in the event deliberations.
Besides a press meet, a detailed presentation, various short-films on known and off-beat destinations of J&K were also screened on the occasion including short tourism promotional films on the unique and iconic heritage, the floating luxury- The Grand Kashmiri Houseboats.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Director (Publicity), Ideel Saleem said “In the last 6 months since we celebrated the World Tourism Day on September 27, 2020, we have not stopped even for a moment. The number of activities, events, webinars, publicity Campaigns across all available platforms, be it print & electronic media, digital, Radio & FM and Social Media have been undertaken with the sole purpose of communicating the message to the people of the country including people of this wonderful State of Orissa that J&K is ready to welcome and host you for a memorable time there with our renowned hospitality and yes, of course, best measures in place to ensure your health safety. In fact, J&K was first in the country to move out to Kolkata and other cities back in September, October 2020 and actively start campaigning for the revival of tourism. The revival efforts have borne fruit as domestic tourists have shown keen interest in J&K and have visited during winters and enjoy snow in Gulmarg, Srinagar, Pahalgam, Patnitop, Sanasar, Natha Top, Sonmarg and Doodhpathri in encouraging numbers. Recently, Gulmarg hosted the 2nd edition of the Khelo India Winter Games in which over a thousand athletes from across the country participated.
Just a couple of days before, we had a very successful and grand Road Show in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Today we are in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha. Simultaneously, today itself we are in Bangalore and Bhopal and in the coming days, we will be in Indore, Chennai, Raipur, Mumbai, Delhi, Cochin, Varanasi, Nagpur and other cities. The purpose is to move out, clear doubts, promote our unique, extensive and exquisite tourism products and invite our domestic tourists to come and visit J&K.
“We have several festivals lined up including the Almond Bloom festival this month, Tulip festival in the first week of April and a grand Houseboat festival for the summer. As we speak we are preparing for all this in advance to welcome our tourists.
With international travel restrictions, we want to cash in on the domestic tourists who otherwise normally might have chosen to go to outside country locations. The high end and the budgeted tourists we want both to visit J&K and we have facilities available to cater to both. While COVID harmed the tourism sector in more than one way, it has also opened more than one window of opportunity to attract a massive domestic tourism market who want to go out with their loved and what better place than Jammu and Kashmir-an all-season tourism destination” Deputy Director, Tourism said.
Chairman, Kashmir Houseboat Owners Association, Hamid Wagnoo speaking on the occasion said that the core aim and objective of the Road Show is to invite the people of Odisha to Kashmir to enjoy various beautiful destinations and tourism products of J&K including the heritage and iconic Houseboats.
“Houseboats are the major attraction for tourists who visit the valley. This year we are offering special seasonal discounts on our houseboat accommodations,” Chairman HBOAK said and added that the state of Odisha has always remained one of the major markets where a large number of travelers visit J&K.
Wangnoo appreciated the efforts of the J&K government in mitigating and controlling the Covid19 threat consequent to which tourists have the confidence to visit J&K and feel safe and sound while enjoying their stay. He appealed to locals of Bhubaneswar and Tour and Travel Agents/ Tourism Stakeholders of Odisha to visit J&K and avail special seasonal discounts on Houseboat Stay. “We are here to strengthen and refresh the age-old bond between J&K and Bhubaneswar,” he said.
The heads of the various tour and travel organisations and tourism stakeholders of Odisha thanked the J&K Tourism Department and the KHBOA for visiting Odisha and organising the Road Show in Bhubaneshwar and said that they are keen to reciprocate. They said they have been receiving queries about J&K and this roadshow is certainly going to generate further interest among the people of Odisha to visit heaven on earth i.e Jammu and Kashmir.
Road Shows in other major cities are also being organised during the month of March as part of the extensive J&K tourism promotional campaign.