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Sarmad Hafeez reviews tourism scenario with stakeholders, officers

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Srinagar: Secretary, Tourism & Culture, Sarmad Hafeez reviewed the tourism scenario of Kashmir in a joint meeting of tour travel operators and officers of the Department here today.

Chairing the meeting, the Tourism Secretary said due to the coordinated efforts of the stakeholders and the Department the last few months witnessed an unexpectedly encouraging tourist footfall. He said the Department’s decision to open destinations like Sonamarg and Doodpathri during winters has yielded encouraging results. He exuded optimism that coming months would bring tourists in good number and asked the stakeholders to brace up for that in terms of facilities and logistics.

Sarmad Hafeez said that it is the endeavour of the Government to promote the tourism potential of the UT on a bigger scale in collaboration with the stakeholders. He disclosed that as the Covid situation in the country improves the Department would again undertake promotional activities across various tourism markets of the country. “We are endeavouring to enhance the experiences of tourists by introducing new and more concepts,” he said while referring to floating theatre in Dal and recently launched conducted city tour for tourists by the Department.

The Tourism Secretary sought support and cooperation from the stakeholders in further promoting the 75 offbeat destinations identified by the Department across J&K. He also advised them to come up with attractive and competitive packages so that more and more tourists are persuaded to visit J&K.

The tour travel operators lauded the efforts of the Tourism Department in promoting Jammu & Kashmir at national and international level, which they said, has even won accolades from many quarters in the country. They brought many issues into the notice of the Tourism Secretary and sought their redressal.

Earlier, Director, Tourism, Kashmir, Dr. G N Itoo gave a resume of the tourism scenario in Kashmir valley and the efforts being made by the Department to tap the potential and promote it across the country.

Senior officers of the Department and representatives of various tourism trade bodies were present in the meeting.

Later, the Tourism Secretary in a separate meeting of officers directed the heads of various sections of the Department to make preparations for the coming spring season. He specifically directed devising a calendar of activities and exploring possibilities of starting some adventure activities like hot air ballooning, para gliding and parasailing at various tourist spots across Kashmir. He also stressed on putting up signages of wayside facilities and hoardings on highways leading to tourist destinations.

Later, Sarmad Hafeez took a round of the Tourist Reception Centre and inspected various facilitation counters put for the tourists.

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