SRINAGAR: The Union Minister for Tourism, Culture & DONER, G. Kishan Reddy wrapped up his two day visit to Kashmir today.
During his visit, the union Minister kick started several developmental projects including 10 bedroom tourist complex at Verinag, Apple resort at Ladoora Rafiabad, wayside amenities at Awantipora among others.
In his interactions with stakeholders drawn from various segments of the tourism industry, including hoteliers, travel agents, Houseboat owners etc. G Kishan Reddy reaffirmed the commitment of the Central Government for the promotion of tourism and culture here. He said that the Central Government will do everything in its domain to brand Jammu & Kashmir as an international tourist destination.
Among other issues, the tourism stakeholders sought direct flights from different cities of the country including Hyderabad, Kolkata, Chennai to Srinagar. They also demanded insurance cover in case of losses, development of new and virgin tourist destinations, better mobile connectivity at tourism places, renovation of old hotels at tourism destinations like Pahalgam, Gulmarg among others.
The Minister gave a patient hearing to the tourism stakeholders and assured them that all their genuine issues would be taken up for early resolution.
The Union Minister noted with appreciation the efforts put in by the Tourism Department in promoting J&K as a top destination for tourists. He expressed satisfaction over the way the Department has been carrying out promotional activities, identifying new destinations and has effectively concluded capacity building and vaccination for the tourism stakeholders.
While appreciating the Tourism Department for its work done during Covid-19 pandemic, the Minister said that the J&K administration has done better than other States and UTs during the pandemic. He said J&K is progressing and moving in the right direction and the Union Government is supporting the UT in every respect to take the region to uniform prosperity with the rest of India.
Mr. Reddy pledged all support to the J & K Government to bring Mughal Gardens on the UNESCO Heritage map so that these places get international recognition and help in increasing foreign tourist footfall. He said Centre would take every measure required to make Jammu & Kashmir the number one tourist destination in the country.
During his visit, the Minister reviewed the tourism scenario in J&K in a meeting with officers from Tourism, Culture, Archeological Survey of India and other Departments. He also had an interaction with students of various Govt-run- Schools at Royal Springs Golf Course, who were trained in golf at Kashmir Golf Club. He said Kashmir is a favorite golfing spot for tourists and the golfers from around the world and the local youth should get maximum benefit from the beautiful golfing destination. He also flagged off Dachigam Foothills Mountain Biking Expedition from the gate of Harwan Garden.
Later in the evening, the Union Minister had a tour of the famed Dal lake and praised its beauty.