Sunday, September 27, 2009

World Tourism Day: Wi-fi facility for Pahalgam, Gulmarg announced

Jora for improving hospitality to tourists

Jammu and Kashmir Tourism department today observed World Tourism Day to celebrate diversity, at a grand function organised by Institute of Hotel Management, Rajbagh here today. Minister for Tourism presided over the function.
Addressing on the occasion, Mr Jora said that J& K state has plenty of diversity in terms of its geographical landscape and climate, art forms and culture, language and literature, offering distinct and diverse destinations unparalleled in the country. He said that the state with its composite culture, diverse people and their life styles give unique character to the tourism industry that has no match in the entire sub continent.
Mr Jora said that tourism is a peace activity and every single tourist who visits the state impacts the livelihood of more than a dozen people. In this perspective, it is more important for the survival of tourism industry that peace prevails, he said while expressing satisfaction over the return of peace and tranquillity in the state over the years. He asked the tour and travel industry of the state to organize a peace march so that a message of peace in Kashmir circulates in the entire country.
The Minister said that government is contemplating a well knit strategy for retaining the tourists for longer period of time in the state by offering multiple tourist spots and activities for which, he said tourism department would provide basic infrastructure and encourage people through incentives for contributing towards the cause. He said, “We have to be innovative, creative and have out of the box thinking especially at the planning and policy level so that true potential of the tourism industry is optimally harnessed”. He said the focus would be to retain lakhs of pilgrim tourists by offering them varied leisure tourism activities.
Emphasising on quality services, the Minister said that tourists should be provided better facilities and made to feel at home. He urged the hoteliers and all others associated with tourism trade to strive for extending warm hospitability befitting international standards, adding the valley is famous for cordial hospitality. “We must act as a team, be proactive and ready to work in unison to serve the tourists”, he said.
The Minister on this occasion announced that Pahalgam and Gulmarg will be provided with Wi-Fi technology for internet connectivity this year while the same facility will be extended to the Dal area next year.
The Minister also interacted with representatives of travel and trade associations, during which they assured to improve facilities for the visiting tourists to their utmost satisfaction. They also highlighted important areas that require Government intervention and consideration for growth of tourism.
A debating and painting competition was also held on the occasion in which School children from Government and private schools participated. The theme of which was “celebrating diversity”. The Academy of Art and Culture also organized a cultural musical programme on the occasion. Later, prizes were distributed among the best performing participants.
Secretary Toursim Mrs. Tanveer Jehan, District Development Commissioner, Mr. Mehraj Ahmad Kakroo, Joint Director Toursim, Mr. Mohd. Saleem, Principal, Institute of Hotel Management, Srinagar Mr. Nisheeth Srivastava, representatives of Travel & Trade Associations, House Boat Owners Association, Shikara Union Association, and Adventure Tour Operators Associations, other dignitaries and a large number of School children were present on the occasion.