The 31-member parliamentary delegation Thursday visited the famous ski-resort Gulmarg in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district to take stock of the tourism activities, and to meet hoteliers and tour operators.
The Parliamentary Standing Committee along with top officials of the Tourism Department including Principal Secretary Tourism SarmadHafeez met the Hoteliers in Gulmarg to have an on-the-spot assessment of the tourism facilities, infrastructure and problems being faced by the tour operators, local news gathering agency KNO reported.
Secretary General Hoteliers Club Gulmarg, Tariq Gani said, “We have presented a five-point memorandum to the delegation. We expressed our concerns and put forth demands before the delegation which included extension of lease agreements to the hotelier whose leases have expired.”
Raising the issue of frequent closure of Srinagar-Jammu highway during winters, Hoteliers Club Kashmir apprised the delegation about toll it was taking on the tourism industry of Kashmir.
“Frequent closure of highway leads to the problems for the Tourism industry as most of the domestic tourists prefer to come by road. We also demand night landing at the Srinagar International Airport,” Gani said. “Post abrogation of Article 370 and Article 35-A, COVID19 lockdown hit the Tourism industry badly. We demand the relaxation in GST for next five years and financial assistance so that we can review our business which has suffered a lot.”
Gani also demanded enhancement in the budget for Tourism promotion.
“Along with that we should also be allowed necessary renovations and repairs of our properties,” he said.
A presentation was also given by the Tourism department where in they exhibited the potential of Tourism in Gulmarg.
The visiting Parliamentary Standing Committee headed by RajyaSabha MP from Madhya Pradesh T G Venkatesh met various stakeholders on issues related to road, travel, tourism and hospitality sectors in Kashmir.
The news gathering agency KNO also reported that India’s top businessman Anil Ambhani took many tour operators by surprise after he reached Gulmarg ski-resort Friday evening.
KNO quoted the sources as saying that Ambani was likely to meet tourism officials, tour operators and hoteliers at Gulmarg but all his meetings would remain informal and not open to media.
“It is not clear whether Anil’s visit to Gulmarg is personal or related to business vis-à-vis investment at the picturesque tourist resort. Things will be clear in a few days,” the sources said.