Jammu & Kashmir Department of Tourism has started an extensive promotional campaign among the potential tourism markets across the country. The officers of Tourism Department Dr. G N Itoo, Director, Tourism, Kashmir, and Mr. Vivekanand Rai, Director, Tourism, Jammu, on 15 September 2021 held back to back meetings here with local tour operators, media fraternity and even some prospective buyers of J&K tourism products.
During the meetings, the officers informed about the preparedness of the Jammu & Kashmir administration and tourism stakeholders in terms of COVID-19 protocol and precautions. They said soon after the outbreak of Covid-19, the UT administration prioritised the vaccination of tourism stakeholders including taxi operators, hoteliers, shikarawallas, tourist guides, ponywallas etc. and so far 95 per cent of all tourism stakeholders stand vaccinated. Besides a press meet, a detailed presentation, various short-films on known and off-beat destinations of J&K were also screened on the occasion including short tourism promotional films on the unique and iconic heritage.
As soon as the unlocking phase started last year domestic tourists start flocking to J& K. And the state has recorded 2 lakhs 60 thousand one of its highest footfall of domestic tourists between January 2021 to Aug 2021.
On the occasion, Dr. G N Itoo said, “The revival efforts have borne fruit as domestic tourists have shown keen interest in J&K and have visited during winters and enjoy snow in Gulmarg, Srinagar, Pahalgam, Patnitop, Sanasar, Natha Top, Sonmarg and Doodhpathri in encouraging numbers. Recently, Gulmarg hosted the 2nd edition of the Khelo India Winter Games in which over a thousand athletes from across the country participated.”
He also informed that the prestigious PGTI Golf tournament was teed off which is seeing participation of 125 ace golfers including some Olympians and international star golfers. The aim of the event is to showcase Jammu & Kashmir as the golfing capital of the country. He said the Golfing circuit of Jammu & Kashmir comprising the iconic Royal Springs Golf Course, Pahalgam Golf Course, historic courses like the Gulmarg Golf Course and Kashmir Golf Course besides Jammu-Tawi Golf Course provides a rich and varied world class experience to visiting golfers which is unparalleled in rest of the country.
On the diversified tourism products available in J&K, the officers informed that the adventure activities like trekking and rafting have picked pace among the adventure loving tourists and the Government has thrown open many more treks for exploration from this year. Niche tourism in Jammu & Kashmir is picking up with religious, heritage, adventure, golf etc. being on the enquiry list of prospective tourists. Many more new destinations are being explored and put on the tourism map of the UT.
Targeting the Bollywood Tourism, he added, “Last winter and this summer an encouraging number of production houses from Mumbai and Southern states completed their shootings at various locations across J&K, particularly Kashmir. ”
The officers interacted with the Tour Operators from Mahrashtra including Pune, Nasik, Nagpur, Kolahpur and representing prominent associations like MTOA, TAAI, IATO, ADTOI, TAFI and urged to be their ambassador and send the tourists to the state.