Tourism deptt making untiring efforts to attract travellers : Dy Secretary
Deputy Secretary Tourism Waseem Raja Saturday said the department of tourism is making consistent efforts to attract tourists back to JK.
He complimented travel and hospitality sector stakeholders for bringing tourists to JK despite difficult times.
“You have seen worse times in the past and you have overcome them and continued to bring tourists to the Valley with your unflinching commitment with the tourism sector,” said Waseem Raja while addressing the tour operators during Annual General Meeting of Travel Agents Association of India – JK Chapter.
He said the Tourism Department in collaboration with the stakeholders will make every effort to promote JK’s tourism products.
“We have put in place all Covid 19 SOPs to ensure safety of the tourists during this pandemic,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Director Publicity Ideal Saleem said the department has already started a buzz by organising Shikara Festival, Golf Tournament, Celebrating Wild Life Week to send a message that tourists are welcome again.
“We have started promotional activities within and outside J&K.
We also went to Kolkata and had a fruitful interaction with the travel trade and media persons there who are very keen to visit the Valley for holidaying. We have assured them that all Covid SOPs are in place and that the administration is very active in assisting the travellers for their memorable experiences,” he said.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Chairman TAAI JK Chapter Zahoor Qari said the Kashmir Valley received a huge dent in the tourism sector after the August 2019 decisions and which was compounded by Coronavirus pandemic which hit all the sectors including the tourism sector globally.
Qari also spelt out various programmes TAAI conducted during the past one year.
Qari further assured TAAI members that the JK Chapter will start promotional campaigns afresh to bring tourists back to Valley.
He also urged the tourism department to take promotional activities more vigorously by doubling the efforts.
On the occasion, TAAI members suggested doing away with difficult guidelines for organising adventure activities.Past Chairperson Ghulam Rasool Siah, Nasir Shah, Shamim Shah besides Haji Abdul Khaliq Wangnoo, M Akram Siah, Ashfaq Sidiq Dug raised their voice against new directives by the department asking tour operators to get separately registered for organising adventure tourism.
They said tour operators have been organising adventure activities for the past many decades without any complaint and the new guidelines are negating their experiences and registrations.They urged the Deputy Secretary and Deputy Director Publicity to revise and review the guidelines in consultation with the travel trade fraternity.
The Deputy Secretary assured the gathering that their suggestions will be looked into and the guidelines which are an obstacle and hamper in organising adventure activities can be reviewed. During the AGM, Hon Treasurer Sameer Baktoo presented the accounts. Secretary Tanvir Hassan Dar presented a vote of thanks.
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