Omar for Conserving State’s Natural Beauty

GULMARG:  Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah Thursday said that development of requisite tourist infrastructure inconsonance with the environmental requirements is necessary to restore tourism glory of the State and make world famous resorts like Gulmarg round the year tourist attraction.

Inaugurating a modern tourist facility created in the private sector at Gulmarg, the Chief Minister said that comfortable accommodation and best service delivery act as driving force to attract visitors to come again and again and enjoy the hospitality of the people and the natural beauty.

Omar Abdullah said that his government has concentrated on holistic development of tourism making eco-tourism fulcrum in the creation of new facilities and upgrading the existing ones. He said the natural beauty is God’s gift to the State and tourism is the key sector to catapult economy and generate jobs for people round the year.

 “The imperative is to maintain and conserve this natural beauty and bio-diversity of the State for present and next generations. This is the national duty of all of us”, he said and called for joint and wholehearted efforts by government, private sector and public to safeguard the natural resorts and preserve their beauty.

Omar Abdullah said that visit of about 12 lakh visitors to the Valley this year indicates the interest people of the country and outside possess for visiting Jammu and Kashmir and enjoying the beauty God has bestowed upon it.

The Chief Minister said that besides conventional tourism, government is focusing to harnessing the great potential of adventure, pilgrim and sports tourism. He said organizing events of adventure and sports tourism and making skiing, mountain biking, white water rafting, trekking, hiking, mountaineering etc regular features in tourism calendar would help to give thrust to comprehensive development of tourism.

Omar Abdullah said that the Gandola and Chairlifts in Gulmarg has enhanced the orbit of organizing more and more winter sport events in this place and attract visitors from all over the world. He said development and upgradation of Golf Course at Gulmarg has added another attraction for tourists at this.

“In fact the government has created golf circuit in the State by developing Golf Courses at Sidhra Jammu, Srinagar, Gulmarg, Pahalgam and one under construction at Leh. This has provided opportunity to the golfers to enjoy playing golf in different geographical situations and climate during their visit to the State and that too during their stay here”, he said adding that organizing of golf events during the summer months have showcased this aspect of sports tourism of the State. He said that this and other activities need to be given further push to rope in tourists of varied interests.

Omar Abdullah said that equal attention is being given to divert huge number of pilgrims visiting Mata Vaishno Devi to visit and stay at places like Surinsar, Mansar, Patnitop, Jammu and other places of tourist and religious importance. He said development of these places on modern lines and in agreement with the environmental requirements is being attended by the concerned Development Authorities and by the Tourism Department. He said Central assistance available for the purpose is also being utilized in this regard. “This has helped a lot to upgrade and renovate the tourist infrastructure in these areas and maintain their natural grandeour”, he said adding that the visit of visitors to these places during the last four years has increased considerably.

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