In an effort to boost tourist arrivals during off-season, Jammu and Kashmir government has announced a 50 per cent rebate on lodging and transport charges to those visiting the Valley on the eve of Diwali and Saffron festival.
"Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation will provide 50 per cent rebate on lodging and transport charges to the tourists visiting Kashmir," Tourism Minister G A Mir said.
Mir chaired a meeting yesterday to review the arrangements made by various departments for three-day Kashmir Saffron festival scheduled to commence on October 29 at Visoo village of Pampore, known as "golden bowl" of Kashmir for high Saffron produce.
The Minister said private tourism players are also going to give concessions in boarding and lodging to the tourists during the Saffron and Diwali festivals.
He said tour and travel operators of Katra would also organise a familiarisation tour to encourage Mata Vaishno Devi pilgrims to participate in the Saffron festival.
"During the festival days several tourist attractions will be showcased including saffron run, cultural programs, laughter shows, flower plucking, painting competition besides setting up different stalls of agro-based products and traditional dresses for photography," he said.
The main objective of organising the festival is not only to promote the rare and world famous saffron of Kashmir but also to encourage and support the educated youth in taking tourism related entrepreneurial activities, he added.
The Minister also emphasised on carrying out a mass publicity campaign about the Saffron festival especially outside the state to attract more and more tourists to the the Valley.
He also instructed authorities for proper regulation of traffic on the Srinagar-Jammu National Highway near the festival site for smooth movement of vehicles.