TASK for involvement of local tourism players in Gulmarg development

Greater Kashmir

Srinagar: The Travel Agents Society of Kashmir (TASK) has welcomed government’s decision to appoint a consultant to review infrastructure in Gulmarg but not without putting a rider. The TASK has maintained that mere appointment of a consultant will not help develop tourism in the state, unless and until professionals, experts, visionaries and people associated with tourism are involved in the process.
In a statement here on Friday, TASK president Abdul Rauf said: “ Though we welcome the appointment of a consultant to review infrastructure in Gulmarg, but it would not help in development of tourism unless, professionals and experts get together and discuss and make plans.”
The Task president said the basic ingredients for a successful tourist industry in any region are scenic beauty, richness of flora and fauna, culture, historical monuments, pilgrimage centers, airports, roads, tourist transport network, accommodation, water, electricity and friendly people.
“By the grace of God we have got everything but there is something wrong somewhere with our tourism,” Rauf said.
Rauf said the decision to develop Gulmarg as a Winter Sport and Golf Resort was made in 1961-62 by government of India. “It is a pity that GoI reneged from it and did not construct even a single room for the own trained ski instructors, not to talk of Ski Institute, centrally heated Hotel.”
Stating that the need of the hour is to have a comprehensive plan to ensure development of tourism in the state, Rauf suggested creation of ‘Jammu Kashmir Vision 2010-30’ so that a concrete professional approach is adopted to make this industry an economic viable project which will also attract the private sector to invest in it.”