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Secretary Tourism directs for establishment of dedicated tourist service helpline immediately

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Says upcoming G-20 event would position J&K tourism on a global platform

SRINAGAR: Secretary of Tourism & Culture, Dr. Syed Abid Rasheed Shah today directed the constitution of a helpline cum grievance redressal facility at TRC Srinagar /Jammu for tourists. He announced a regular monthly stakeholder consultation with the office bearers of various trade bodies of the tourism sector to identify areas for improvement and devise strategies to overcome any challenges.

The directions were issued today during a marathon meeting-cum-interaction the Tourism Secretary had with the stakeholders of the tourism industry to discuss and evaluate the existing facilities, identify areas for improvement as well as address any issues affecting the sector.

The Director of Tourism, Kashmir, Raja Yaqoob, and other officers of the Tourism Department were present on the occasion.

Dr. Abid highlighted the need for continuously upgrading facilities and services at tourist locations to meet evolving traveler expectations and attract more tourists to Jammu & Kashmir. He emphasized the significance of maintaining world-class facilities and services at tourist destinations to attract more domestic and international visitors to the region.

The Tourism Secretary also highlighted the role played by tourism in economic growth and employment generation and said that there is a need for constant evaluation and improvement in facilities at tourist destinations to stay competitive in the global tourism landscape.

Examining different issues and problems faced by the sector, the Secretary specifically directed strict enforcement of rates and tariffs for the tourism services at tourist destinations for which he directed the Enforcement wing of the Department to carry regular and routine checks to look into any kind of overcharging, touting or cheating by any service provider. He also directed the installation of display boards at prominent tourist destinations regarding rates and rules of different tourism services.

During the meeting, the Tourism Secretary also spoke about the Government’s commitment to develop and promote the tourism sector as a vital contributor to the local economy adding that the tourism sector is poised to achieve new heights and contribute significantly to the region’s economy in coming days. He also emphasized on the significance of collaboration and cooperation between the stakeholders and the Department to create a vibrant and inclusive tourism industry that benefits both the tourists and the local community.

Referring to the upcoming G20 event in Kashmir, Dr. Abid said that the upcoming Tourism Working Group meeting under the aegis of G20 will get the local tourism industry a big boost and it would position J&K’s tourism industry appropriately on the global canvas.

The meeting brought together key players from the tourism industry, including representatives from hotels, tour operators and other related organizations associated with the travel trade and hospitality sector besides senior officers of the Tourism Department.

During the meeting, the stakeholders held extensive discussions with the Tourism Secretary and his team of officers. They gave numerous suggestions for devising effective solutions and strategies to ensure the sustainable growth of the sector and brought many issues into the notice of the Tourism Secretary.

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