Jammu and Kashmir Minister of State for Tourism Priya Sethi today said Jammu has its own charm, just like Kashmir and Ladakh regions, and her department will make all efforts to give the place a separate identity on the tourism map. “If we fail to showcase our destinations to the world, we will be indulging in stupidity. The adjoining states have highlighted even the smallest of details (about their destinations) and managed to take their tourism industries to new heights,” the minister said.
Jammu and Kashmir has much to offer to the holidaymakers and needs to be promoted in a big way as the economy of the state depends on tourism revenue, the minister said at the curtain-raiser of the Navratra Festival starting September 21 at Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine in Reasi district yesterday. “Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh – the three regions of the state – have varied things to offer. If we are not able to project them in the right light, our state will lag behind others in the tourism sector,” Sethi asserted. “Our tourism is multi-dimensional. An aged person may want to come to the state for pilgrimage, younger ones for adventure and the corporate world for MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and events). “We have every facility here,” she said, adding the tourism department needs help of the locals to ensure that tourists leave satisfied.
The minister also lauded the work done by the department in promoting tourism despite adverse conditions. Referring to a recently concluded week-long bikers’ expedition, she said 84 bikers traversed through numerous unexplored places in the Kathua, Doda, Kishtwar, Ramban and Udhampur districts. “They were mesmerised by the beauty of the place and each of them edged to bring 100 more bikers next time. Jammu has immense potential and such initiatives will enable us to bring less-explored destinations on the tourism map,” Sethi said. On Navratra this year, Sethi said, new events were being organised to make the festival a grand success as pilgrims from all over the country will be visiting the shrine of Vaishno Devi during this time.