Travel Agents meet Secy Tourism, raise issues

Rs 2000 cr earmarked for tourism infrastructure under PMDP: RigzianSampheal

Secretary Tourism, RigzianSampheal today said that Rs 2000 crore have been earmarked for the development of tourism infrastructure at various destinations in the state under Prime Minister’s Development Plan (PMDP) projects.

RigzianSampheal was addressing the office bearers of the Travel Agents Society of Kashmir (TASK) during an interactive meeting here during which the Secretary Tourism was apprised about various issues and problems confronting the travel and hospitality sector.

On the occasion, TASK sought massive marketing through Incredible India promotional campaign of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

They also demanded upgradation of public infrastructure at tourism resorts and heritage sites besides the launch of laser show at Dal Lake and sound and light show at Shalimar Garden.

TASK also apprised Secretary Tourism of airport immigration problems and hassles in getting airport passes for bonafide tour operators.

They also demanded the classification of hotels and houseboats as per the criteria laid down in the Tourist Trade Act besides fixing their tariffs.

The travel agents also expressed dismay over the dilapidated condition of roads leading to various tourist destinations like Yusmarg, Gurez, Doodhpathri, Toshimaidan and also demanded facilities for the travellers.

Secretary Tourism said the Department is organizing road shows within and outside the country to boost foreign tourist flow to the J&K State.

He informed that there is a 45 per cent increase in the tourist flow from countries like Malaysia, Thailand, and Bangladesh.

On the occasion, Secretary Tourism informed the travel agents that under PMDP projects, GoI has earmarked Rs 2000 crore for development of tourism infrastructure across the state.

He said under the project, the J&K tourism department will identify tourism potential at various destinations, which would be developed in a phased manner.

“We are already executing some projects worth Rs 400 crore at various destinations of the State in phase 1 to upgrade tourism infrastructure,” he said.

The TASK was represented by its President Mir Anwar. Others who were present include Mohammad Ibrahim Siah and ShowkatPakhtoon, Senior Vice President Mohammad Hafiz Shala, and Secretary General AtharYaminNarwari.