‘Situation normal in Kashmir, people eagerly awaiting return of tourists’

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Srinagar: Expressing satisfaction over the return of normalcy in Kashmir, a delegation of tour operators from different parts of the country, who were on three-day FAM (familiarization) tour to the valley, said that people were enthusiastically awaiting the return of tourists.

The visiting team expressed satisfaction over the return of normalcy in the Valley and hoped that the tourists would return to Kashmir as the situation is very much conducive for sightseeing in Valley.

The travel agents said they enjoyed the beauty and hospitality of the people here.

Asserting that they would act as ambassadors of the Kashmir tourism, they said they will spread word in other states among the clients so that tourists would return to Kashmir.

“We were happy to see the valley. Kashmiris are more than willing and ready to welcome tourists here. We have seen great enthusiasm among people here to see tourists returning back. We will try our best to spread a good word about Kashmir,” said one of the members.

In an effort to bring confidence among the travel agents from outside the state to send tourists to Kashmir, Department of Tourism Kashmir had organized a FAM tour for India’s leading travel companies to Kashmir.

The travel agents belonged to the states including West Bengal, Maharashtra, and Gujarat wherefrom major chunk of tourists visit Kashmir.

Meanwhile, Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah said the FAM tour was organized to help remove the negative perception among tourists outside the state after recent five months unrest saw decline in tourist influx.

“We took them to all places in Srinagar, Phalgam and Gulmarg. They (Tour agents) observed by themselves that everything is normal here. Seeing believes. They will now have no hesitation in promoting Kashmir again,” he said.

He said the visiting members were informed about the winter festival being organized by department of tourism in Gulmarg and Pahalgam in January.

“We are hopeful to see good response to our marketing campaigns outside for winter tourism as winter carnival is also a big attraction for tourists,” said Shah.

He said the department would also participate in all the travel fair and marts outside the state for vigorous marketing.

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