Omar for international flights
Tourism Minister Asks JK To Showcase Spiritual Places
Srinagar, June 17: Terming connectivity an important ingredient to facilitate inflow of tourists, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Friday strongly advocated operationalizing international flights by the Air India from and to Srinagar Airport. “This would give fillip to the arrival of international tourist traffic to the Valley”, he said adding that Air India should not make the profitability its yardstick for operating international flights at Srinagar International Airport.
The Chief Minister was addressing a conference on ‘Jammu and Kashmir tourism- the way forward’ organized by FICCI here in collaboration with Suri Hospitality.
Underlining tourism as one of the major components in State’s economy, Omar Abdullah expressed the hope that tourism will pick up this season gradually to make good the losses incurred during the last three summer unrests.
“For us tourism is one of the major component of economy but it is uncertain in nature for various reasons”, he said citing the example of unrest in last three summers in the Valley and flash flood in Leh. He said that tourist inflow in the current season in Valley is comparatively lesser for these reasons. “We hope it will increase gradually during the coming days”, he added.
The Chief Minister stressed on FICCI and other such organizations to translate their brain storming sessions and conferences on tourism into actual roping in of investors in the State and playing an important role in the growth and development of the State.
“The conferences, sessions and reports by FICCI on the development of tourism in Jammu and Kashmir are welcome steps. We will be benefited in actual terms when you motivate the investors to invest in the State in tourism and other sectors”, he told FICCI asking them to concentrate on this aspect more effectively and positively.
The meeting was participated by the Union Minister for Tourism, Subodh Kant Sahai, Union Minister of State for Tourism, Sultan Ahmad, Jammu and Kashmir State Finance Minister, Abdul Rahim Rather, Minister for Tourism, Nawang Rigzin Jora, Minister of State for Tourism, Nasir Aslam Wani, Parliament Members Ghulam Nabi Rattanpuri, Dr Mehboob Beg, Sharief-ud-Din Shariq, Union Tourism Secretary, R. H. Khawaja, Commissioner Secretary Tourism, Atal Dullo, senior officers from the Centre and the State and various representatives from tourism trade and commerce, travel agencies and hotel and houseboat associations.
Omar Abdullah emphasized the need for facilitating tourists from South-East Asia, Middle-East and Singapore to visit the Valley by operating direct flights and rescheduling the flight timing from Delhi to Srinagar. “We have already taken up the matter with the Civil Aviation Ministry for operationalizing the time chart for Delhi-Srinagar flights where under the first flight from Delhi should reach Srinagar Airport at 7 a.m. and the last flight leaves from this place at 6 p.m.”, he said adding that it would greatly facilitate the inflow of tourists.
The Chief Minister said that new tourist market of Russia, Malaysia, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, etc need to be explored for diverting tourist traffic to Kashmir as the tourist rush to India from these countries is phenomenally increasing.
Omar said that his Government is concentrating on three pronged policy of developing conventional, pilgrim and adventure tourism in the State adding that focus is to translate at least 10 percent of the Mata Vaishnodevi pilgrims into real tourists. “This would change the scenario of local economy in Jammu division”, he added. He asked the Union Tourism Ministry to help diverting of various national and international conferences to SKICC were there is up to the mark infrastructure facilities for such conferences and the weather is most pleasant in this part of the country.
Speaking in the meeting, the Union Tourism Minister asked the State Tourism Department to formulate a comprehensive project for showcasing ‘Sufi Circuit’ as tourist destination. “My Ministry will provide you all help in this regard. You have greater potential for attracting domestic and foreign tourists to visit spiritual places in the State”, he said and underlined the need for its promotion.
Subodh Kant said that his ministry is working to increase the international tourist flow from present ½ percent to one percent to generate jobs for about 3 crore men and women in the country. He said this would also enhance the economic activities and open vistas of development.
The Union Minister said that his Government is giving priority to the development of tourist sector in the State. “We have already approved 39 tourism development schemes for the State. Our endeavour will be to divert tourists from all over the world towards this part of the country”, he said adding that Jammu and Kashmir will be fully showcased at the international tourism festivals.
“Yours is the land of tourism and every region is beautiful attracting tourists of wide-ranging interests”, he said calling for befitting infrastructure development in agreement with the environments and natural beauty of the State. The Centre Tourism Ministry will be helping you in your efforts in this regard, he told the meeting.
Minister for Tourism, Nawang Rigzin Jora presented a re sume of the actions taken by the State to improve the tourism sector in the State. He said that various Tourism Development Authorities constituted in the State to ensure balanced development and preserve ecology of the particular areas of tourist destinations, are proving significantly beneficial in the overall tourism development policy of the State.
The representatives of trade, commerce, travel agencies, hotel and houseboat associations also presented their view points in the meeting and suggested measures for the holistic development of the tourist sector in the State.
Lastupdate on : Fri, 17 Jun 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 17 Jun 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 18 Jun 2011 00:00:00 IST
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