Tourism dept to woo Middle East,Europe
To Hold Road Shows, Screen Films In Tel Aviv
Srinagar, June 18: Buoyed by the huge tourist rush to Kashmir this year, the J&K Tourism department, for the first time, would send officials to Middle East to attract foreigners to the state. An attempt would also be made by the department to persuade the European Union to lift travel advisory on Kashmir.
“We will be holding road shows in Middle East countries and some member countries of European Union to attract tourists to Kashmir,” said Director Tourism, Talat Parvez. Screening documentaries and films on Kashmir is part of the program. He said the program is sponsored by Government of India.
The plan also includes distributing pamphlets and booklets written in Arabic language to tour operators in middle-east countries about Kashmir and its scenic resorts. A team of Tourism Department officials would start their program with road shows in Tel Aviv later this month, said a Tourism Department official. There is no travel advisory by Israel to its people on visiting Jammu and Kashmir and in the past tourists from the country have visited Kashmir and Ladakh.
“We are keen that maximum number of tourists should visit Kashmir from the region (Middle East),” Parvez said.
During their visit the Tourism department plans to interact with tour operators and aware them about changing situation in Kashmir. “The situation has changed. We are witnessing tourism boom to Kashmir,” the official said.
The next stop of the department would be Jordon. “We have been earlier in UAE and we hope our shows in these countries will change perception of people towards Kashmir,” Parvez said.
He said the Tourism department would also hold road shows in the UK which is a member of European Union where a travel advisory against the J&K is still in vogue.
Last year, Germany lifted travel advisory on Kashmir. “It is a huge advantage to Kashmir tourism. “We hope other European Union countries will follow the suit,” he said.
An official said Tourism department is also mulling to invite members from European Union to visit Kashmir in their bid to persuade them to lift travel advisory on Kashmir. “Things have changed a lot,” he said.
Last year Germany became first European country to modify its travel advisory to Kashmir. Besides, all European Union countries have issued travel advisories to its citizens cautioning them against visiting Kashmir. The advisory is in vogue since 1989.
This year Kashmir is witnessing huge tourist rush with Valley’s all hotels and restaurants witnessing advance booking for months together.
We have received more than five lakh tourist this year so far,” Parvez said. The number includes over 17,000 foreigners.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 18 Jun 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 18 Jun 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 19 Jun 2012 00:00:00 IST
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