The revival of tourism should not be equated with normality, Omar Abdullah said whether 1000 tourists visit the State or 13 lakh it will not determined the normality and resolution of all problems.
“The tourist flow is merely an economic activity and should be seen in that perspective only. Visiting of large number of visitors do not substantiate that no problem has left unsolved in the State”, CM said adding the two have different genesis and cannot be equated at all.
The Chief Minister said revival of tourism can surely be associated with economic prosperity and generation of substantial employment even for people without specialized skills in a seminar at SKICC on Tuesday, organized by Kashmir Hoteliers and Restaurant Associations (KHARA).
While expressing satisfaction over the 79 percent increase witnessed in the arrival of tourists in Kashmir Valley during the current year so far, CM said the arrival of about 13 lakh visitors to the Valley this year so far indicates the substantial upward trend in tourist interest to visit the Valley during all seasons.
The CM also said income augmentation and generation of direct and indirect employment by tourism sector along with impetus to the handicrafts, hand looms and transport sectors, underline the significance of holistic and sustained development of this sector in the State. And the potential of adventure, heritage, pilgrim and sports tourism in the State has widening the spectrum of infrastructure development and showcasing of specific areas in this regard. He said the concept of Eco-tourism and creation of tourist circuits for the tourist of wide-ranging interests is emerging as an important economic intervention in the development of modern tourism.
CM stressed on the preservation of natural beauty of Kashmir. He said Jammu and Kashmir does not possess infrastructure like Taj Mahal, Lal Qilla, etc. “We are known for our natural beauty and conservation of this factor is the key to our sustenance on tourism”, he said adding government is responsible for providing basic tourism structure and environment but it is the responsibility of private players to build excellent tourist facilities in the State.
Omar said the potential of tourism to provide employment to people in general and youth in particular suggested establishment of class restaurants and home stay facilities for tourists. He also emphasized on up gradation of transport facility and accommodation for quality tourism.
Speaking on the occasion Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Ghulam Nabi Azad said that greatest component of sustainable tourism is peace and peace will prevail in the State under the dynamic leadership of Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah.
Referring to the potential of pilgrim tourism, Ghulam Nabi Azad said that this form of tourism has great promises for the economic prosperity of people across the State. He underlined the need for harnessing heritage and pilgrim tourism and called for preserving the natural beauty of health resorts to sustain tourism in the State.
K Chiranjeevi, Union Minister of State for Tourism, on the sidelines of the seminar said, “Shahruk Khan took a good step by shooting his film in Kashmir, now I wish other members of film industry also come to Kashmir for shooting their film”.