Srinagar: Emphasizing on providing a unique experience to tourists and increasing their footfall, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Sinha on Wednesday passed directions to prepare a comprehensive future plan for promoting the tourism sector in J&K, and identifying new, unexplored tourist spots.
While taking a review meeting of the Tourism Department here at Civil Secretariat, the Lt Governor observed that the UT is bestowed with abundant natural beauty and breathtaking landscapes, an official spokesperson said. The LG, he said, asked the officers of the tourism department for developing various tourist circuits across the UT, laying special focus on adventure tourism, trekking activities, pilgrimage sites, water sports and other popular ventures.
“The Lt Governor laid thrust on ensuring easy access to the tourists at all tourist places, with proper mobile connectivity, ATM facilities and other utilities for hassle free and memorable experience of the visiting tourists,” the official spokesperson said.
Sinha, he said, directed the concerned officers to develop state-of-the-art facilities by coordinating with other agencies for full utilization of tourism infrastructure by which the tourists coming for pilgrimage at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi and other religious places also visit other important tourist destinations.
He further said that the LG also directed for high level of inter-departmental coordination for coherent efforts and asked the Tourism Department to integrate its efforts with Culture department while organizing mega Literary, Arts and Sufi festivals in J&K.
“Similarly, coordinate with the Forest Department for identifying more trekking routes,” Sinha said, as per official spokesperson.
He said that the LG directed for proper maintenance of tourism properties so that they remain in impeccable condition throughout the year.
Ensure that forest huts, tourist accommodations and stays are utilized properly,” the LG said, as per official spokesperson.
“Lay special focus on revenue generation, work in collaboration with Mission Youth, extend handholding of youth for financial and other requisite support, so that they can earn livelihood in the tourism sector, and at the same time offer best facilities to tourists,” he added.
Giving impetus on developing the tourism sector of Jammu region, the LG, as per the official spokesperson directed the Tourism department to launch special drive to promote Jammu tourism circuit.
“He further directed for organizing a 3-months long festival in Jammu to popularize various tourist destinations,” he said, adding “Instructions were also passed for developing all the requisite tourism facilities at Mantalai so that the tourists can witness the beauty of this less explored destination.
For developing the tourist places located in remote and far flung areas, the official spokesperson said that the LG directed the tourism authorities to build tourism infrastructure through convergence mode for the convenience of the visiting tourists. He gave examples of annual Machail Mata Yatra held in Kishtwar and other similar religious and tourist spots in remote places.
“Pay special attention to maintain cleanliness at such tourist places and ensure sustainable development without disturbing the ecological balance,” Sinha said, as per official spokesperson.
He further said that the LG also sought detailed status of the working of Jammu & Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation JKTDC and various regional Tourism development authorities.
“He directed them for regular updating of their websites providing latest relevant information for tourists and taking all required measures to tap the full potential of tourist sites,” Sinha said, as per official spokesperson.
He said that the LG also enquired about Cruise boat in Dal Lake to be launched soon by JKTDC. He exhorted the officers of Tourism Department to ensure that tourism projects make visible impact and further asked them to construct public utilities and toilet facilities at all tourist places.
“Plan accordingly so that benefits of government schemes are availed by all stakeholders and beneficiaries,” the official spokesperson quoted LG as saying.
During the meeting, he said, a PowerPoint presentation was given by Sarmad Hafeez, Administrative Secretary, Tourism Department in which he apprised the chair about the initiatives in pipeline viz. Launching of Cruise in Dal Lake by JKTDC, engagement of consultants/event management agencies, Integrated web portal, capacity building of stakeholders under Industrial policy, upgradation of JKTDC properties, Helicopter Safari services, Prepaid services for pony walas, Basic Life Skills (BLS) training for adventure activities, opportunities for start-ups under Mission Youth, and upcoming Gurez Festival.
“Earlier, the Lt Governor was apprised about the various initiatives taken by the department to promote tourism activities after the 1st and 2nd Covid Wave receded,” the official spokesperson said.
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