Tourism Deptt Gearing Up For Series Of Festivals, Roadshows

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SRINAGAR- Secretary, Tourism, Culture, Youth Services & Sports, Sarmad Hafeez Monday convened an interactive meeting with the representatives of travel and hospitality sector here to chalk out the strategy for upcoming publicity campaigns and roadshows to be held across the country.

While expressing satisfaction over the tourists’ flow to the Valley, the Secretary Tourism said the sustained efforts of the Department and stakeholders have borne fruit and, as a result, prime destinations like Gulmarg and Srinagar are abuzz with tourists.

He hoped this trend of tourist arrivals would continue and hopefully the tourism sector in J&K will revive to its normal levels sooner than later.

Elaborating on the upcoming programmes to attract both budget and high-end tourists, Sarmad Hafeez said the department is planning a series of roadshows across the country besides organizing several festivals here in the spring and summer seasons.

He said the blossoming of the colorful flowers in Tulip and Mughal Gardens attracts huge numbers of travelers in the spring season and called upon all concerned Departments to coordinate in the better management of the coming festivals.

The Secretary Tourism informed that the Department will organize Badamwari Festival, Tulip Festival, and Houseboat Festival in the coming days and months to add to the attractions of visiting tourists. He hoped these festivals will be mega events to attract both locals and tourists besides promoting the Valley’s flora, culture, seasons and cuisine to the tourists.

Sarmad Hafeez sought suggestions and active participation of the travel trade bodies for the successful conduct of these festivals and roadshows and making the tourist activities memorable for the visitor and stakeholders together.

On the occasion, the representatives of travel trade bodies expressed happiness over the current flow of tourists to the Valley and appreciated the role of the department in reviving and promoting the tourism after the Covid-19 pandemic.

They informed the meeting that the hotels at prime locations are fully packed and the trend is expected to continue during the spring and summer seasons also.

Earlier, Director Tourism, Kashmir Dr G N Itoo informed the meeting about the various initiatives being undertaken by the Directorate of Tourism, Kashmir for the upcoming spring and summer season including extensive promotion and publicity campaigns across several platforms.

In a separate meeting with the heads of various departments, the Secretary, Tourism reviewed the conduct of upcoming festivals in the Valley.

The meeting was attended by Director Tourism Kashmir, Dr. G N Ittoo, MD JKTDC, Nisar Ahmad Wani, MD SKICC, Javid Bakshi, Director Floriculture, Farooq Ahmad Rather, Director Handlooms and Handicraft, Mehmood A Shah, CEOs of Pahalgam and Gulmarg Development Authorities, Joint Director Information, Joint Director, Tourism besides Deputy Directors and the senior officers of the Tourism department.

During the meeting, Secretary Tourism discussed the timing and various events to be held during the festivals. He sought coordination from all the departments in making these festivals a huge success.

‘Tourist Influx Has Increased’

The Tourism and associated government departments of Kashmir will organize grand festivals to give huge impetus and boost to the tourism sector in Kashmir, Advisor Baseer khan vouched while taking the review meeting of Tourism department with officers at SKICC, Srinagar.

Speaking on the occasion, Advisor  Baseer  Khan told officers present that the Tourism department  will hold a series of mega festivals including Tulip festival, Badamwari festival, Houseboat festival, Pahalgam festival and other host of activities and directed them to take all the measures to mark the experience of events very memorable.

He directed officers to make hospitable arrangements to facilitate tourists at the airport and avoid any inconvenience caused due to any issue of mismanagement.

Director Tourism informed that the influx of tourists has increased and the number will increase manifold with the conduct of these festivals. He said all the stakeholders have been taken into confidence and asked to employ their resources effectively.

Meanwhile, Advisor Khan issued strict orders for face lifting of roadsides from airport to Srinagar and beautification of flyovers. Advisor was informed that there are 207 roadside facilities of different organizations along the national highway and at tourism destinations. He also stressed on the officers to make  illumination fountains functional.

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