Asserting that Jammu and Kashmir is one of the safest tourist destinations in the country, Minister for Public Works Naeem Akhtar urged the visitors to not to pay heed to false reportage and invited them to experience the hospitability and warmth from people of Kashmir.
The spokesman quoted the minister saying “Kashmiris hold tourists in high regard and tourists who have visited the Valley have experienced warmth from all quarters, especially locals. We are proud to have been rated as the most sought-after tourist destination in the country as per a recent survey, and Jammu Kashmir was, is and will continue to be a safe place for tourists from all regions, national and international alike.”
He stated that there have been zero crimes reported against tourists in the state so far and the safety of tourists is always a top priority.
The Minister, while making a mention of successful conduct of recently held TAAI convention in Kashmir, asked the other tourist bodies to take a note of this and direct tourist traffic towards Jammu and Kashmir which is blessed with abundant natural scenic splendour and serenity.
Naeem Akhtar also refuted the claims made by a national daily about stone pelting incident on tourists and said that these reports are baseless and no such incident has taken place anywhere in the state.
Meanwhile, tourism Minister Tasaduq Mufti said that an unprecedented rush at Tulip garden in Srinagar was witnessed and also a good number of travellers enjoyed Gondola ride at Gulmarg today.
Taking cognizance of the baseless news report, he urged media houses to report the ground situation responsibly with proper facts and said a small wrong news report has a potential to affect smooth tourists flow to Kashmir and affect the livelihood of lakhs of people associated with the sector.
In an interaction with tourism stakeholders convened today here at SKICC, Tourism Minister said the government has always made elaborate security arrangements to ensure the safety of the tourists.
During the interaction with hoteliers, travel agents, tour operators, houseboat owners, ShikaraWallas and other service providers, the minister said no confirmation of such incidents at Boulevard has been reported contrary to the report in the newspaper.
The minister said tourists are arriving in Kashmir normally and informed that about 5000 tourists and locals visited Tulip garden in Srinagar, over 2100 visitors enjoyed a Gondola ride on Tuesday at Gulmarg and many more visited other destinations.
Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah also condemned the baseless report. He said that no tourist was attacked in Srinagar.