GUREZ: Jashne Gurez, the festival to showcase the Gurez valley for all its recreational and adventure potential took off to a colourful start on Thursday.
The festival was thrown open by Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, P K Pole.
Deputy Commissioner, Bandipora, Dr. Owais Ahmad and Director, Tourism, Kashmir, Dr. G N Itoo, senior Police and Army officers, members of PRIs and a large number of tourists and local people were present on the occasion.
Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir said the Government intends to develop Gurez at par with other tourist destinations in Kashmir. He said the Gurez valley has huge potential to attract tourists which needs to be fully exploited.
The Divisional Commissioner appealed youth of Gurez to come forward and set up their tourism units which would give boost to local economy.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Director, Tourism, Kashmir, Dr. G N Itoo said the Department has already placed Gurez, given its enormous tourism potential, on the promotional agenda and holding of the present festival is one of the components of this promotional scheme.
Deputy Commissioner, Bandipora, Dr. Owais said the successful conduct of the festival was the result of close coordination between Tourism Department, district administration, Police and Army. He hoped with this coordination in future, Gurez would become a favourite tourist destination.
During the inaugural session, around 15 Departments had put up their stalls displaying the products generated locally. Local hotel owners had also put up their stalls depicting their services including food provided by them. A special feature of the festival was presentation of cultural items by various local groups particularly in Sheena, Dardi, Pahari and other local dielectric.
Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir flagged off a contingent of students for the marathon. He also released a brochure depicting the tourism potential, recreational avenues and critical information about the place. He also distributed certificates among the youth who were trained at the local ITI in various hospitality trades.
Last evening a cultural programme was held at TRC, Dawar where local youth presented scintillating performances which were appreciated by the audience comprising many visiting tourists. The best performers were felicitated on the occasion.
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