Continuing with its tourism promotion programs under ‘Valley Weekend’ campaign, the department of tourism Saturday organised Food Festival at Chesmashahi and also a photo exhibition at Nigeen Club.
Secretary Tourism Sarmad Hafeez inaugurated the 2-day food festival at Chesmachahi while as the photo exhibition at Nigeen Club was inaugurated by Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah who was accompanied by Deputy Directors Riyaz Beigh and Wasim Raja were also present at photo exhibition.
Sumptuous local delicacies were laid out by Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC) at Chesmashahi restaurant where tourists and locals enjoyed the lunch and music.
The food buffs relished special traditional preparations of fish cooked with lotus stem and collard, meat cooked with dried bottle gourd, egg cooked with dried turnip, smoked fish cooked with collard, tomato cheese and traditional preparation of chicken.
The visitors not only cherished these delicacies but also watched live performances from local singers.
JKTDC also had put up stalls showcasing local art and craft.
At Nigeen Club, scores of the photographers had put on display their collection of the photos depicting states landscape, art, craft, people, heritage etc. where a large number of locals visited.
The 2-day photo exhibition is being organised in collaboration with Waruk- a social organisation working for the promotion of art among youth.
Secretary Tourism Sarmad Hafeez said the food festival has been organised to showcase to the tourists the local food and give them the local experience.
He said J&K state has a rich culinary tradition which needs to be showcased and promoted among the visitors.
“We got good response from the locals and the tourists to the food festivals earlier and it encouraged us to organise once more. We have already started the Valley Weekend tourism promotional campaign which is generating lot of interest among tourists to visit Kashmir,” said Sarmad Hafeez.
He said the local travel trade and hospitality sector have received bookings for the winter months due to the sustained tourism promotional campaigns for winter months.
Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah the festival would provide tourists the local experience and also engage youth with a host of activities on each Saturday and Sunday.
“The festival has been organised in autumn as it usually is a lean tourist season in Kashmir and it also aims to send a positive message across the globe that Kashmir is a safe and a tourist-friendly place,” the director said.
“The weekend festival will run through the winter season during which we will organise a host of cultural, musical events, besides competitions in poetry and painting,” Shah said.