KHARA for making Kashmir 'leading global destination' by 2020
Urges govt to come up with comprehensive tourism policy
SHABIR IBN YUSUF
Srinagar, July 19: Envisioning “leading global destination” status for Kashmir by 2020, Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Association (KHARA) today urged the government to formulate a comprehensive tourism policy to achieve this mark.
Addressing a press conference here today, president KHARA, Chowdhary Muhammad Showkat said the tourism industry had survived the ups and downs Kashmir witnessed during past over two-decade unrest. “Since J&K is now moving towards stability, it has become imperative to boost this industry by having proper tourism policy in place,” he added.
Chowdhary said that in 1977, then chief minister Sheik Muhammad Abdullah introduced a comprehensive tourism policy as a result of which a number of hotels and guesthouses were commissioned in just two years.
He said the industry after witnessing lot of trouble that trailed Kashmir for over two decades, has of late begun to bounce back. “Year 2011 saw arrival of nine lakh tourists to the Valley and from March to June this year there has been a reasonable increase in the number of tourist arrivals,” he said, hoping that the inflow would continue to increase in the coming years.
He urged the stakeholders to harness the “fullest potential of state for development of tourism” which according to him can serve as an engine to catapult the growth in other sectors.
Chowdhar urged the government to come up with a tourist policy for the next 15 years to support the hospitality sector of J&K. Referring to the weaknesses in tourism, Chowdhary said there is haphazard growth in hotel, guesthouse constructions. “A flurry of concrete structures at the fragile tourist locations in Kashmir is not good for environment.”
“There is poor garbage and waste disposal system at the tourist attractions,” he said, adding that Kashmir also faced shortage of trained tourist guides.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 19 Jul 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 19 Jul 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 20 Jul 2012 00:00:00 IST
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