Mehbooba Mufti calls for strengthening travel and tourism industry

By: | Published: September 29, 2016 8:19 PM

Asking Tourism Department authorities to promote niche tourism activities in their respective areas, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today called for a fresh roadmap to strengthen the travel and tourism industry in the state.

In line with the government's vision of making Jammu an independent tourist destination, the Chief Minister said the region has huge potential in heritage, adventure and border tourism. (PTI)In line with the government?s vision of making Jammu an independent tourist destination, the Chief Minister said the region has huge potential in heritage, adventure and border tourism. (PTI)

Asking Tourism Department authorities to promote niche tourism activities in their respective areas, Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti today called for a fresh roadmap to strengthen the travel and tourism industry in the state.

She called for integrating leisure, adventure, heritage and pilgrim tourism as part of the fresh roadmap.

Mehbooba made the remarks while chairing a meeting to review the functioning of Tourism Development authorities of Jammu province.

In line with the government’s vision of making Jammu an independent tourist destination, the Chief Minister said the region has huge potential in heritage, adventure and border tourism.

Tourism Department needs to focus on creation of tourism-based infrastructure that will help in attracting tourists to the region, Mehbooba said.

She noted that niche tourism infrastructure needs to be developed keeping in mind its relevance to the area, without disturbing the natural essence of a place and its surrounding ecology.

Mehbooba asked the officials concerned to come up with suggestions and ideas to develop such niche locations to attract more tourists like tented accommodation and thatched huts that may give tourists a feel of natural surroundings. It would at the same time help avoid building solid concrete structures at tourist destinations.

She added the existing concrete structures needed to be properly camouflaged to blend with the local environs.

The Chief Minister underscored the importance of identifying at least one niche tourist activity like paragliding, trekking, camping, festivals under each Tourism Development Authority which can be developed, promoted, publicised and marketed to achieve maximum tourist footfall in the region.

Highlighting various areas of the region that are apt for development of adventure tourism, she called for introduction of adventure sports like mountain biking in certain areas like Sanasar which can prove a major tourist attraction.

The Chief Minister was informed that introduction of All Terrain Biking (ATB) is being considered in the Sanasar area.

She was told about a ‘Kite Festival’ on the lines of the one organised in Gujarat which was under consideration.

Mehbooba sought details with regard to development of heritage sites like Chingus Fort and Old Fort Complex in Poonch.

She also called for improving facilities at Chakan da Bagh to attract tourists and promote border tourism.

With regard to promotion of tourism in Kishtwar and Bhaderwah areas, the Chief Minister called for development of trekking routes and base camp sites.

Mehbooba also stressed on encouraging involvement of locals in development of tourism in areas like Shafapani and Tattapani where people usually opt for paying guest type of accommodation.

The Chief Minister directed the Tourism Department to explore more areas with tourism potential and to come up with innovative packages.

She asked Additional Secretary in the Chief Minister’s Secretariat Shahid Iqbal, who also holds charge of Director Information, to explore avenues of convergence with Information Department to help promote tourism in the state, viz packages, festivals, destinations among others.

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