PAHALGAM: In a bid to counter negative publicity by a section of national electronic media on Kashmir, Public Works Minister Naeem Akhtar Saturday appealed Former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah to leverage his fan following on social media for tourism promotion.
Describing him as a social media leader, Naeem said that Omar Abdullah has a huge fan following on social media especially twitter and he should lead by way of engaging and encouraging younger generation on social media for creating positive perception about Valley.
The Minister was speaking as a chief guest at the prize distribution ceremony of the 7th J&K Golfers Association Tournament organised on match play format between two teams here at Pahalgam Golf Course.
“We have immense tourism potential which has remained untapped due to many reasons including the way in which a section of national electronic media is portraying Kashmir. But we can counter that through social media. Now-a-days, people are using social media heavily and we should capitalize this media for our benefit and all of us must join this campaign against defaming Kashmir” said Naeem Akhtar.
He said Kashmiris have to win the war of perception by making tourists believe that people are tourist-friendly, hospitable and the place is also safe.
“It is our collective responsibility to win the war of perception. I congratulate you for participating in the golf tournament and keeping the tourism alive in your own way. We have to organize more such programs to attract not only golfers but other tourists too,” he said.
He said the state is blessed with stunning golf courses in Srinagar, Pahalgam and Gulmarg, Jammu and Ladakh that need to be vigorously promoted.
The Minister said government is making all out efforts to build tourism infrastructure across the state.
“Now reaching Anantnag from Srinagar will take less than one our as the National Highway with all its bye passes will be ready by September. We will be building and upgrading requisite infrastructure for public and which will also help the tourism sector,” he said.
“We also have started road upgradation of the road from Seer to Pahalgam and Seer to Ashmuqam via Hapatnar. The execution will facilitate the locals and help tourism sector grow.”
Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah said J&K has best golf courses where major tournaments would be held regularly.
“We have golf courses in Jammu. Kashmir is also a golfing bowl where we have best golf courses be it Royal Springs Golf Course or the Golf courses at Pahalgam or Gulmarg. We will also have word’s highest golf course at Leh which will be soon thrown open,” said Shah.