Extending its support for the revival of tourism in Jammu & Kashmir, the Hotel Association of India (HAI) has suggested formulation of a long-term tourism development plan and incentives for the stakeholders for growth of the sector in the Union Territory.
Speaking at the India Global Week, K.B. Kachru, Vice President, HAI, called on investors to consider J&K for their new ventures citing quick developments and assuring good returns based on promising infrastructure and tools in the UT. Kachru, who is also the Chairman Emeritus and Principal Advisor South Asia, Radisson Hotel Group said: "Tourism is a real springboard for giving a major thrust to the overall economy particularly in J&K. There is a need to think of some quick wins for survival and revival. Fact remains that the UT and tourism are inseparable. It has established and known multiple destinations for leisure, adventure and religious places."
"Hospitality is in Kashmiri blood, Kashmir has the capability of becoming a challenge to established world-known destinations in the world," he added.
HAI is of the firm belief that everything possible must be done in order to help the sector survive, a statement from the industry body said, adding that it is only then, that revival will be possible. HAI member hotels such as Radisson Group, Taj Hotels, ITC, Lemon Tree among others have already moved into J&K and committed themselves to the growth of the sector in the region. In addition, HAI is also seeing a good amount of international companies wanting to enter J&K despite all the challenges, the statement said. Calling for government support Kachru said: "Given that investment-friendly policy is being set, key players need to have a steady hand on the wheel. Infrastructure development is the need. We need to identify new destinations and create easy accessibility." He added that the government needs to continue to listen and handhold stakeholders at this time of crisis starting with those operating businesses, hotels, houseboats, and transporters.