Srinagar: While stating that tourism is one of the mainstays of the economy, the Jammu and Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Association (JKHARA) Friday urged Governor Satya Pal Malik and Chief Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam for appointing a full-fledged Director Tourism Kashmir in view of the need of promotion of tourism sector, Kashmir News Service (KNS) reported.
In a statement, President JKHARA Showkat M Chowdhary said tourism sector is one of the important sectors, which needs a vibrant head of the department who can help in attracting tourists from within and outside the country.
“Tourism department can’t survive without its Director when there is a great need of the promotion of this sector during lean season. Tourism sector needs promotion day in and day out owing to the negative media publicity, which has dented tourist flow to Kashmir. Appointing director for the Tourism department is the need of the hour as stake holders have pinned high hopes on the department for aggressive tourism promotion,” he said.
JKHARA hoped that both Governor and Chief Secretary would appoint a dynamic director forthwith.
“We believe in dynamic leadership of the governor and chief secretary would pave way for aggressive tourism promotion of the State as the sector is largest employment generator in the State,” said Chowdhary.
Chowdhary said that the Department of tourism did a wonderful job by organizing Kashmir Autumn FAM trip which concluded successfully and had participation of over 70 delegates from other states.
The FAM trip has sent a positive message across the country that Kashmir is safe and travellers can enjoy holidays here.
“The department needs to do follow up of the FAM trip by engaging with the travel agents who were part of trip and also encourage others to promote Kashmir. The follow up of this promotional activity is only possible if there is appointment of a Director.”
Chowdhary said both the Governor and Chief Secretary should also take suggestions from the stakeholders on the appointment of the Director Tourism Kashmir who can lead the sector for road shows, travel marts, and other promotional activities efficiently within and outside the country.
“From November to March, the stakeholders along with department take our promotional activities across the globe to promote state’s tourism products and attract them during the whole year. If at this crucial time, the department is headless, it would send a wrong signal and prove detrimental in tourism promotion activities. It is high time that Director is appointed on urgent basis.”
(with inputs from KNS)