Ahemdabad,April 3 (Scoop News) –Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Department in association with Tour and Travel fraternity of Kashmir today kicked off the campaign for promoting Tourism at Ahmedabad (Gujarat). The programme was inaugurated by Minister for Tourism, Ghulam Ahmad Mir in presence of Gujarat Travel Agents Association, Adventure Tour Operators Association of India, Representatives of Gujarat Tourism, J&K Tourism Alliance, Association of Kashmir Tour Operators (AKTO), Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Owners Association (KHARA), Hoteliers Club, Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Owners Federation (KHAROF) and other prominent tour and travel players of J&K and Gujarat.
Tourism Minister while interacting with the tour operators of Gujarat and other States, expressed his gratitude to Gujarati’s in general, who have supported Kashmir in tough times and have always been supporting. He said “Guajarati’s have supported Kashmiris in turbulent times and we can never forget that. Our campaign for 2013 is Explore New Kashmir”, he said and added that Gujarat and Guajarati’s live in the hearts of Kashmiris so we could not think of any other place than Ahmedabad to kick off this campaign in the country.” “The new destinations which will be focused in 2013 include Kokernag, Veerinag, Deksum, Watlab, Manasbal, Wadwan, Simthan pass, Yusmarg, Lolab, and Gurez”, he informed.
The Minister said J&K Tourism Department was launching road shows and promoting new initiatives of the Department under the tagline “Explore New Kashmir”.
Mir assured Gujarat tour and travel operators of full support and co-operation. He said the J&K Government is extensively worked on new facets of tourism products. “These activities include new skiing techniques and programmes, regular ice skating championships snowboarding, Snow Cricket, Snow Rugby, Snow Zorbing, and Helliskiing”, and adding that in addition to these activities Government has installed Hot air balloon activity in Srinagar and now is exploring the same at resorts like Gulmarg and Pahalgam.
The Minister said that in 2013, one of the thrust areas of the Department is high end Golfing and Angling. Kashmir has a complete Golf circuit now with a Golf course in Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Srinagar; he said and added that J&K Tourism Department is also actively reviving ancient sports like Polo and archery in the state. White water rafting is another focus area of the Department and under this initiative we had one International rafting event in Bhaderwah in February 2013, where 40 players from different countries participated. He said adventure Motor sports has been a great success in J&K state with rallies like Mughal car rally, Raid – de – Himalayas and many more, he said and added that this sport has helped the Department in exploring, connecting and bringing new destinations on tourist map of the state.
Mir said that in 2012, J&K had good share of high end tourism activities which included destination weddings, destination engagements, Bollywood shoots, Marathi and Tamil Film Industry projects, corporate award ceremonies, Product launches etc. He said this year we are focusing on the Television Industry of Gujarat and rest of the country adding that J&K Tourism Department is actively promoting Sports and Spiritual tourism in the state this year.
Director Tourism, Kashmir, Mr Talat Parvaz in his address stressed on new tourism products being created for the tourists. He said in last decade the scenario of J&K tourism has undergone a massive transition and we are constantly working on it. Today J&K can offer wide variety of activities to the tourists which otherwise was a dream in the past.
In his welcome address, Nasir Shah President JK Tourism Alliance said that if Delhi is the heart of India then Gujarat is the heart of J&K Tourism.
Today’s programme was attended by around 100 major tour and travel operators from all over Gujarat.