‘Paying guest’ concept fails to take off
GK NEWS NETWORK
Jammu, July 31: The ambitious ‘paying guest concept’ introduced by the government at several tourist spots in Jammu has simply failed to take off, officials said.
They said the government sometime back had decided to divert long stay tourists to the tourist potential spots of Surinsar, Mansar and Nandani in Jammu and train the local people there to deal with the tourists and earn their livelihood.
Officials said a project in this behalf was submitted by the government to Union Tourism Ministry about two years back seeking its help to start the concept ‘paying guest’.
“The purpose behind this was to create rural employment and divert pilgrim tourists to these sites,” the officials who insisted not to be named said.
They said a recent survey conducted by the tourism department has revealed that tourists don’t prefer to spend night in these places.
Sources said the department which was supposed to educate and train the people in these areas so as to make them able to deal with the tourists, has failed to do so.
Sources said that lack of coordination among various agencies of the government has led to the failure of this scheme. “It was part of an eco-tourism project under which people around potential places were to be provided soft loans to create basic infrastructure like road, electricity and other facilities. Besides, they were also to be educated about the hospitality sector. But that was not done,” they said.
When contacted Minister for Tourism, Nawang Rigzin Jora said, “These places have become picnic spots and people don’t prefer to stay there for night. Very few pilgrim tourists visit these places. So the plan got slowed down.”
He said the department was now trying to take the concept to Shiv Khori, Sudhmahadev and other pilgrimage places, where lakhs of people visit very year.
“In coming years it is expected that more pilgrims will visit these places and we are trying to introduce paying guest concept in these places,” the minister said.
Sources said the ‘paying guest concept’ is mostly popular among the foreigners and most of them don’t stay in Jammu and instead prefer Ladakh region and Kashmir valley or simply return back after darshans.
Lastupdate on : Sun, 31 Jul 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 31 Jul 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 1 Aug 2011 00:00:00 IST
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