These days, it is the season of festivities in West Bengal in view of the upcoming Durga Puja. But what has added to these festivities is the decision of the J&K government to open up UT tourism sector with easing of COVID restrictions.
In this backdrop, a team of officials from J&K Tourism department have been holding series of meetings with the representatives of Tour and Travel industry of West Bengal.
The J&K tourism officials met prominent tour operators of the state and representatives of various tourist trade bodies including Manav Soni, Chairman, Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI)-Eastern Region, Somnath Chowdhary; President, Travel Agents Association of Bengal (TAAB), Sanjeev Mehra; President, SKAL-Kolkata, Anil Punjabi; Chairman, Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI)-WB, Madan Agarwal; Charmain, Association of Tourism Service Providers of Bengal (ATSPB), Debjit Dutta; Chairman, Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) and Association of Domestic Tour Operators of India-WB and host of other tour operators.
During these meetings, heads of the tour bodies said these were the first face to face interactions ever by any state/UT since the pandemic swept the country.
The Travel Association heads were all praise for the J&K Tourism department for taking the bold initiative and being the first to do so in the entire country.
“After months of virtual meetings, thanks to the initiative of J&K government, we are interacting in actual” remarked Manav Soni, Chairman TAAI-Eastern Region.
President, TAAB, Somnath Chowdhary while describing his long association with J&K tourism said that in these gloomy days, J&K has emerged as a ray of hope for the tourism stakeholders of West Bengal and the rest of the country.
“All other states must now take a cue and move in a positive direction for the revival of the tourism industry in the country,” he said. West Bengal accounts for among the top most tourist sending states to J&K. “Ask any Bengali about his choices to visit and you will always find Kashmir at the top” said President SKAl-Kolkata, Sanjeev Mehra.
The J&K tourism officials gave an overview of the emerging tourist scenario in the UT with a host of activities being planned for the autumn and the coming winter season. Tourist Officer, Kolkata, Ehsan ul Haq Syed moderated these meetings.