‘Intl Publicity Campaign to result in increased tourist arrivals’

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Srinagar: – Minister for Education, Mr Naeem Akhter said that the international publicity campaign launched by the government to promote tourism sector of the State would yield good results in near future.

 “The campaigning that we are doing for tourism this year will certainly bear results in the shape of increased footfall,” said Mr Akhter while intervening on a question of Mr Altaf Ahmad Wani in the House today.

Replying to the question, Minister of State for Tourism, Ms. Priya Sethi informed that an expenditure of Rs 3.13 crore has been incurred on advertisements for print and electronic media for the promotion of tourism since 2015.  She said that the advertisements have been published in local, national and international magazines, besides broadcast on television commercials in local and national channels and radio for the wide publicity of tourism promotion in the State.

The Minister informed that Rs 14.75 lakh were incurred on account of air tickets for participation in national travel events. She said that approximately Rs. 12.66 lakh has been incurred on the inauguration function of Pahalgam club after fulfillment of required procedures.

The Minister informed that for the promotion of tourism in the State, the Department of Tourism has put in place Tourism Incentive Policy, wherein incentives are provided to interested persons for starting different tourism related units like conversion of residential houses into guest houses, operation of ATVs and tourist coaches. The Department of Tourism has a Publicity Committee which finalizes the events in which the department participates including national and international travel marts, besides organizing local festivals, she added.

The Minister said that the Department has put in its efforts to explore the offbeat and new tourist destinations in the state from tourism point of view and there would be developed in a phased manner.

 The Government is contemplating to bring Wadwan, Mazmooh, Apple town Chini Wooder, Bijbehara, Dudhal Pahalgam, Shrunz, Tangmarg, Burzama, Fossil Park, Khanmoh, Harwan and Tosmaidan in Kashmir valley and Mantalia, Bani-Basohli, Ranjit Sagar Dam, Noori-Chamb, Seven Lakes, Rajouri in Jammu division on the tourism map of the state, she added.

In reply to another question  of Mr. G. M. Saroori, the Minister informed  that  Rs. 2.75 crore have been spent for creation of tourism related infrastructure in Chatroo area.

She informed that the Government is focusing on strengthening of tourism infrastructure at the existing destinations, adding that presently there is no proposal to develop Famber Meadow Marg in Chatroo tehsil. However, she said that Government would consider to provide road connectivity to the spot in near future and would encourage trekking campus in the area.

In reply to another question by Advocate Bashir Ahmed Dar, the Minister informed that Lolab-Bungas-Drangyari Development Authority has been created for development of tourism related infrastructure in Kupwara district. She said that requisite tourism related  infrastructure to some extent has been created at tourism spots of Kupwara at Chandigam, Khumriyal, Wader Payeen, Reshwari, Kathgaji, Dardpora, Drangyari, Zachaldara, Lach Handwara, Zangli, Sattabaran Kalaroose and Rawalthpora.

The Minister informed that construction of 10 bathrooms and Development of Spring at Ziarat Sharief Guzriyal is in progress, saying that three shelter sheds at Wader –Reshwari and Drangyari would be also constructed this year.

 Ms. Priya Sethi informed that a detailed project report has been prepared for different components for the development of Bungus Valley, adding that the execution would be taken up subject to the availability of funds. She said that Centre has also sanctioned a project of Rs. 4.56 crore for construction of budgeted accommodation and allied facilities at Lolab during 2012-13, adding that against which Rs. 91 lakh have been released and utilized for the execution of different works so far.

The Minister further informed that the Directorate  of Tourism, Kashmir has taken up 52 works in district Kupwara for execution at an estimated cost of Rs. 19.90 crore, of which 30 works have been completed so far with an expenditure of Rs. 16.64 crore.   

Raja Manzoor, Jeevan Lal and Javaid Rana raised supplementaries to the main question and urged for exploiting tourism potential in their respective Constituencies.

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