An excited Chief Minister who flagged off Kashmir’s maiden cycling event on Tuesday said his government endeavours to dispel apprehension in tourists about the prevailing situation have succeeded.
“We have succeeded in our efforts to some extent and our work in this direction is continuous”, Omar Abdullah said. “The removal of travel advisories by Germany and Japan and, most recently, the modification that Britain made in its travel advisory is highly encouraging and certain to give further boost to tourism in the state.”
Omar briefly talked to media on the sidelines of cycling event ‘Tour-de-India’ on the banks of picturesque Dal Lake. The government, he said, wants to showcase state’s beauty and potential of sports and adventure tourism in a renewed and befitting perspective.
Omar said that the potential of adventure tourism like skiing, white water rafting, mountain biking, trekking, competitive and recreational cycling need to be showcased widely to rope in interesting tourists. He said various events of adventure and sports tourism are being organized in the state on regular intervals to provide opportunities to the lovers of adventure tourism and sports to visit the state and participate in these events.
Happy over the cycling event, Omar said it has placed Kashmir on India’s cycling map. This event would also attract young generation to participate in cycling competitions and also make cycling a recreational activity, he hoped.
“Cycling is gaining popularity as a sport in the country and from a mere tradition it is fast developing into a sport activity rather than necessity,” Omar said. He hoped that the younger generation in the state will adopt cycling not only for keeping their body fit but also taking part in national and international cycling events.
Omar said that the participation of cyclists from various parts of India and oversees countries is highly encouraging. He asked the organizers to make this landmark event a regular annual feature to make cycling more and more popular among young generation. Participation of cyclists from oversees in the event will develop confidence of situation in them they feel in the state at present and this would in turn results in visit of lovers of beauty and adventure to the state besides conventional tourists, he asserted. He suggested organizers to explore possibility of holding multinational cycling event in the state in future.