The J&K tour operators participating in the 31st Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) annual convention here today said that government should focus on infrastructure development in the state to attract tourists.
Nasir Shah, Director of CNE Luxury Holidays, a Srinagar-based destination management company said that Jammu and Kashmir government should take cue from other states which have made ample progress in tourism.
Shah said more than six crore tourists have visited in a year to Madhya Pradesh. "The growth shown by this state should work as a catalyst for the state of Jammu and Kashmir to devise tourism promotion policies," Shah said.
The three-day IATO convention was inaugurated on Thursday evening at the Grand Bhagwati here, with the theme 'Tourism: We will change the Indian economy'.
The convention was jointly inaugurated by Shivraj Singh Chauhan, chief minister, Madhya Pradesh and Dr Mahesh Sharma, minister of state for tourism and culture and minister of state for civil aviation, government of India.
Appreciating the role played by private stakeholders like IATO in promoting tourism in the country, Dr Sharma at the inaugural session said the participation of the private sector should be explored to the maximum possible extent to promote tourism and to meet tourism related targets.
The chief minister MP at the inaugural session said, "I am glad that IATO has selected Madhya Pradesh for its annual convention. Coincidentally, the year 2015-16 is also the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Year, so this is a proud moment for us. MP is the number one state in terms of development. In the coming years I want to position MP as the number one state for tourism as well. We have launched several initiatives to fulfil this goal."
During the course of inauguration, former Union Tourism Secretaries, RH Khawaja and ParvezDewan of J&K Cadre were honoured with Hall of Fame Awards.
Later, while going round the stalls at the Exhibition of IATO, Union Tourism Minister saw the publicity material of Khyber Himalayan Resort and had full praise for the high standard quality of Khyber, which he described as the most best Luxury Himalayan Resort, not only of India, but of the entire Asian region.
Meanwhile, the tour operators from Kashmir said that they were satisfied with the networking at the JK stall at the exhibition.