Sarmad Hafeez visits vaccination centres for tourism stakeholders
Srinagar: To monitor and supervise the vaccination process for members of tourism stakeholders, Secretary, Tourism & Culture, Sarmad Hafeez today visited various jab centres here and took review of the vaccination drive of tourism players in the age group of 18-45 years here.
The Tourism Secretary visited Nehru Park, Nigeen and other vaccination centres set up for the purpose and interacted with the representatives of various tourism trade bodies. He said that the Government has declared people associated with tourism as frontline workers and the drive is aimed at safeguarding the lives of people having maximum interaction with the public and reinvigorating the sector to bounce back soon.
Sarmad Hafeez asked all the stakeholders to take advantage of this drive and get vaccinated at an earliest. He said such an exercise would induce confidence among the tourists and would help in putting this sector back on track. He maintained that vaccination is the only method tested world over to defeat the COVID-19 and resume normal activities gradually. He requested all the players not to give heed to rumours and avail this opportunity of getting vaccinated for the benefit of themselves.
He directed the department heads to mobilise all the stakeholders by creating awareness among them and facilitate them in every manner to take vaccines at ease. He asked them that the department should be able to send a message across that all the tourism players stand vaccinated fully so that it brings confidence among the tourists to visit here without any apprehensions.
On the occasion, Director Tourism, Kashmir, Dr. G N Itoo informed that the vaccination process for the members of the tourism sector aged between 18 to 44 years is going on in four districts of valley Srinagar, Anantnag, Budgam and Baramulla.
He further informed that in Srinagar the vaccination centres for tourism players have been established at TRC, Srinagar, Nigeen Club, Nehru Park and Raj Bagh where the members of tourism trade are being inoculated currently. Similarly, he added, the tourism players are inoculated at the famous tourist destinations of Gulmarg, Pahalgam, Doodpathri and Yousmarg. He said that those given jabs include staff of hotels, guest houses, travel agencies, restaurants, houseboats, ponywallas and shikarawallas.
The Director further informed that the vaccination drive would continue for one more day to cover all the eligible tourism stakeholders as the majority of them had already taken the dose in the previous three days. He said so far more than five thousand tourism stakeholders have been vaccinated during the current inoculation drive.
Moreover the Director Tourism informed that the Department has planned a capacity building programme for the members of tourism trade to cope up with the post COVID situation. The programme, he informed, would commence from the coming days and would sensitise the trainees about the best practices to adopt in view of this prevailing disease.
Representatives of various trade bodies from segments like hotels, restaurants, guest houses, travel agencies, houseboats, bathing boats, motor boats and shikarawallas attended the meetings.
On the occasion, these representatives put forth various demands before the Tourism Secretary who assured them of redressal.