Successful G-20 group meeting turning point for J&K tourism: L-G Manoj Sinha

by IANS |

Srinagar, June 26 (IANS) Jammu & Kashmir Lt Governor Manoj Sinha said on Wednesday that the successful G-20 working group meeting held in Srinagar last year was the turning point for the tourism industry in the Union Territory.

Sinha was addressing the two-day-long J&K tourism development conclave 2024 at Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC) in Srinagar.

He said that the successful G-20 working group meeting held here last year helped the struggling local tourist industry and now both domestic and foreign tourists are thronging J&K.

“J&K’s tourism industry has gone through a massive transformation over the past few years," he said.

“Those, who participated in the tourism working group meeting in Srinagar last year spoke highly of Kashmir’s hospitality and beauty. The result of the word they spread is before us.

“Even though the tourism sector contributes to J&K’s economy, agriculture and allied sectors too have a huge potential of generating employment to boost the economy of the UT," he added.

“I met a few youths who left their government jobs and shaped their future in agriculture and allied sectors. Today, they provide employment to dozens of other youths as well,” he said.

The LG took a dig at some people, who according to him, claim to be jack of all trades.

“This mindset needs to be changed. A prominent hotelier, Mushtaq Chaya owns half of Srinagar's land. He came to me once and sought land for setting up his office. I told him I need one kanal from him for the government”, he said.

The LG also commented on the people who have acquired properties due to their involvement in the conflict, who had come to own ‘conflict properties’.

“These properties need to be identified. We stand by our commitment of not touching the innocents, but those trying to destabilise peace won’t be spared at any cost,” he asserted.

About the Tatoo Ground in Batamaloo area of the city that was vacated by the Army after 50 years, he said that the place will have a state-of-the-art amusement park where tourists would love to spend the entire day.

“Srinagar will host lakhs of tourists soon just because of the renovated Tatoo Ground.”

On the renovated Polo View market in Residency Road of Srinagar city, he said that he had met the shopkeepers of the market, who told him that their business has increased three times due to the tourist rush.

He urged the stakeholders to come up with a road map for the promotion of spiritual tourism, adventure tourism, summer tourism, eco-tourism, wildlife tourism, religious tourism, Bird Watching and agriculture and horticulture tourism.

“India has a 130 million dollar wedding industry and J&K is the best wedding destination," he pointed out.

“I hope J&K gets its share from this huge industry. J&K has the lowest crime rate in the country and this should encourage tourists from all walks of life to come and holiday here,” he said.

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