‘Don’t link tourism with politics’
*KHARA launches tourism directory ‘Destination Paradise’*Demands 5-yr tax amnesty for hotel indsutry; Massive infra development
GK NEWS NETWORK
Srinagar, Feb 13: President, Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Association (KHARA), Siraj Ahmad today urged the government not to link tourism with politics, which according to him has been doing a great disservice to this sector in J&K.
Siraj was speaking at a function held to release yearly directory of the KHARA. The directory themed as “Destination Paradise” besides giving an exhaustive account of hotels, guesthouses, tourism bodies and their members with telephone numbers; features many new tourist destinations in Kashmir.
The directory was released by minister of tourism, Nawang Rigzin Jora and minister of state for tourism Nasir Aslam Khan. Siraj said linking tourism with politics has done a great disservice to this sector. “It is unfortunate that number of arrivals to Kashmir is being linked to the normalcy. This phenomenon is projected by the media outside the state in such a way that ultimately proves harmful for the tourism.”
Siraj stressed the need for building tourism infrastructure in the state. “We have featured many new destinations in the directory. But if there is no proper infrastructure at these places, featuring them won’t serve any purpose.”
He said even as the tourism industry had suffered massive losses during last three years, “the government has shown no concern for us.”
He said the government had assured that tourist reception centre would be rebuilt at the same place it stood earlier. But the government has not kept its promise.
Siraj said similarly the government had assured that Centaur hotel will be taken over by the government, yet it has not been done.
Siraj demanded that the hotel industry should be given a five-year tax amnesty in Kashmir, “given the massive losses it has suffered during last three years.”
He appealed the minister that interest on all the loans availed by the tourism players in the Valley should be waived off. “In so far as the soft loans are concerned, they should be waived off entirely,” he said.
He said the directory launched by KHARA is being used for promotion of tourism in Kashmir. “This year we have added many new tourist destinations like Dodhpathri, Aharbal, Yousmarg, etc. We distribute our directories at different melas outside the state so that the tourists intending to visit Kashmir can book the hotel right from their. Even the directory helps them to see the destinations and plan their tour programme accordingly right from their place.”
Lastupdate on : Sun, 13 Feb 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 13 Feb 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 14 Feb 2011 00:00:00 IST
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