Tourism helps in removing misgivings, best way to promote dialogue: Mehbooba

MUMBAI: Terming tourism as one of measures to improve people to people contacts, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti has said it helps in reducing frictions and removing misgivings among people and is the best way to promote dialogue.

Addressing a joint session of tour and travel operators of Maharashtra, Gujarat and other adjoining states, the Chief Minister said tourism is the business of people meeting each other and with more such interactions, you come to know each other’s place and people in a better way rather than knowing it through other channels. She said by promoting tourism not only are the local economies benefitted but it leads to more cultural exchanges between societies whereby people understand each other better and feel for each other.

Inviting tourists of Maharashtra, Gujarat and other adjoining states to visit Jammu & Kashmir and enjoy its beauty, Mehbooba Mufti said a number of steps have been taken for improving tourist infrastructure in the State besides the road and air connectivity is being given a renewed thrust. Moreover, she said, the State has unveiled a Tourism Policy by which the tourism sector has given a structured format. She said every area of the State is being promoted with its uniqueness of attracting tourists.

Mehbooba Mufti said the people of the State have proved themselves as great hosts and despite severe strain like the unrest of last year they cared and hosted the tourists in a befitting manner. This gesture needs to be reciprocated with more arrival this year, she added.

Earlier, Secretary, Tourism, Farooq Ahmad Shah also impressed upon the tour operators to bring more and more tourists to the State this year. He said many packages like the Tulip festival, summer packages etc. have been devised to attract every segment of society to the State.

Meanwhile, the Chief Minister continued with her series of meeting with industry leaders to persuade them to invest in the State.
Today Mehbooba Mufti had a detailed meeting with the Chairman, of Essel Infra, Subhash Chandra and discussed the possibility of developing water sports at Ranjit Sagar Dam and Wullar Lake in the State.

Mr. Chandra evinced keen interest in the project and informed the Chief Minister that his group has already started doing the work on the subject and he himself is planning to visit the State to give the project a concrete shape.

The Chief Minister also discussed with Mr. Chandra areas of infrastructure development, power transmission reforms and solid waste management. The group has successfully implemented several projects in these areas in States like Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal.

Secretary, Tourism, Farooq Ahmad Shah and President, Business Development, Essel Infra, Kamal Maheshwari was also present in the meeting.

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