Srinagar, May 29 – As a part of its endeavor to help the tourism industry come out of the morass and initiate a debate on improving services and other tourism related infrastructure, Doordarshan Kendra (DDK) Srinagar telecast a special series on tourism..
To provide a synergy between the different departments, agencies and people related with the tourism industry all the major stakeholders were invited to participate in the discussion during the programme Apni Baat to present their point of view.
Terming the tourism of Kashmir “a feeling and culture” and not merely a source of revenue, the panelists which included Director Tourism Farooq Shah, conveyer INTACH J–K Chapter Saleem Baig, renowned economist of the Valley Professor Nisar Ali, President Kashmir Hotels and Restaurant Owners Association (KHAROA) Lateef Ahmed Bhat, President Travel Agents Association of Kashmir (TAAK) Rouf Tramboo and President House Boat Owners Association (HBOA) Mohammad Azeem Tumaan voiced concern on the existing tourist infrastructure.
The panelists said that the brand ‘Kashmir’ needs to be showcased across the globe as a multi-dimensional tourist destination with special and attractive packages for adventure, heritage and pilgrimage tourism and the traditional approach of projecting it only as a holiday destination needs to be changed.
“We have been projecting our state as a paradise for holiday tourists in the past. However things have changed now and we need to explore other options as well. In present times more focus should be on adventure tourism, heritage tourism and pilgrimage tourism as it has proven highly beneficial in other parts of the world and fortunately our state offers some of the best slopes, mountains, terrain, sites of ancient civilization and culture. Golfers, Skiers, mountaineers, trekkers have turned out as the high spending tourists,” said the panelists
A spokesman of the Kendra said that the speakers emphasized on the need to update the existing infrastructure at the traditional resorts and at the same time explore new tourist destinations that could be brought on the tourist atlas to attract prospective tourists who prefer the virgin destinations from adventure point of view.
“However, they maintained that it is not necessary to build up the same infrastructure and landscape that has been developed at traditional tourist destinations like Gulmarg and Pahalgam as the new destinations may have their own requirements and demands which may be entirely different from those available at Gulmarg and Pahalgam,” the spokesman said while quoting the panelists.
According to the officials of DDK Srinagar, the programme was conceived to bridge the gap between the government and the people who depend on the tourism industry by providing an adequate platform.
Producer/ Director of the programme Shabir Mujahid said,“It is our responsibility to act as a bridge and provide synergy between the various departments associated with the tourism industry so that there is a better coordination amongst them and highlight the lacunas if any in the integrated policy which in the long run will help the concerned departments and agencies to come up with better services and facilities.”