‘State government should take cue from other states for tourism promotion’
J&K tour operators and the department of tourism Kashmir promoted the state vigorously in the ongoing 31st Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) annual convention here at Indore which saw participation of over 1500 leading travel agents from India and abroad.
J&K’s tour operators, however, said state government need to upgrade infrastructure for the smooth stay of the visitors.
Valley’s noted tour operator Nasir Shah, who runs CNE Luxury Holidays in Srinagar, said that state government should take cue from other states which have made ample progress in tourism.
Giving example of the state like Madhya Pradesh, Nasir said this state received more than six crore tourist both foreign and domestic this year.
“Our state has many tourism products to offer than Madhya Pradesh be it leisure, heritage, adventure, pilgrimage beside state’s rich art and craft and excellent cuisine, but we receive only negligible travelers. The negativity mars our tourism growth. We have not fully realized the potential of our state.”
Stating during IATO Convention in Indore, Nasir said J&K travel mart this season did provide state little support “but for next year we have to plan and finalize dates well in advance and announce this information at other national and international marts including ITB Berlin and WTM London.
“This way the foreign tour operators can plan their participation well in advance,” said Nasir.
The three-day IATO convention was inaugurated on Thursday evening at the Grand Bhagwati here, with the theme ‘Tourism: We will change the Indian economy’.
The convention was jointly inaugurated by Shivraj Singh Chauhan, chief minister, Madhya Pradesh and Dr Mahesh Sharma, minister of state for tourism and culture and minister of state for civil aviation, government of India.
Appreciating the role played by private stakeholders like IATO in promoting tourism in the country, Dr Sharma at the inaugural session said the participation of the private sector should be explored to the maximum possible extent to promote tourism and to meet tourism related targets.
The chief minister MP at the inaugural session said, “I am glad that IATO has selected Madhya Pradesh for its annual convention. Coincidentally, the year 2015-16 is also the Madhya Pradesh Tourism Year, so this is a proud moment for us. MP is the number one state in terms of development. In the coming years I want to position MP as the number one state for tourism as well. We have launched several initiatives to fulfil this goal.”
During the course of inauguration, former Union Tourism Secretaries, RH Khawaja and Parvez Dewan of J&K Cadre were honoured with Hall of Fame Awards.
Later, while going round the stalls at the Exhibition of IATO, Union Tourism Minister saw the publicity material of Khyber Himalayan Resort and had full praise for the high standard quality of Khyber, which he described as the most best Luxury Himalayan Resort, not only of India, but of the entire Asian region.
Meanwhile, the tour operators from Kashmir said that they were satisfied with the networking at the JK stall at the exhibition.