We want to promote lesser known destinations among travelers: Dy Dir Tourism
In a bid to promote lesser known destinations, Department of Tourism Tuesday organised a FAM tour for national tour and travel operators to Doodhpathri in Budgam district.
This is for the first time that the travel companies from other states of India were visiting the place in order to explore the less known destination in their tour packages.
Deputy Director Tourism Kashmir, Peerzada Zahoor Ahmad who was accompanying the delegation said it is part of an initiative taken by the government to promote newly tourist destinations in the Valley.
“This FAM tour is aimed to lure tourists to the destinations which tourism department is planning to develop. It is part of plan by government to bring lesser known tourist destination in tourism map,” Zahoor said.
Zahoor said the tourism department has identified many new tourist places including Kokernag, Doodhpathri, Yousmarg, Bangus valley.
“There are many other scenic spots which are yet to be explored. Our aim is to widen the horizon of tourist places to offer something new to the visitors,” he said.
The delegations which comprised of 10 travel agents were mesmerized by the beauty of Dodhpathri.
“It is really one of the top tourist destinations and if it is properly developed it has the potential to attract number of tourists,” Ajay Modi, owner of a travel company in Gujarat said.
The tour operator said people around the globe are unnecessarily apprehensive of visiting Kashmir when thing are totally different here.
“I think the national media has done big disservice by creating unnecessary panic among tourists. The hype given to floods and some minor clashes has created fear among tourists to visit the place,” travel operators said.
The last years devastated flood followed by the events like unfurling Pakistani and ISIS flags highlighted by the national media has scaled down the flow of tourists for this year.
As per the figures provided by tourism department, from January to May this year only 1.74 lakh tourists have visited Kashmir while during the same period last year, around 3.69 lakh had visited Valley.
The tour operators said that places like Doodhpathri can be a perfect one day picnic spot.
“It is nearby Srinagar and a tourist can easily return to city in a day. Once, developed tourists can have the option to stay for a night and even go for a tracking to upper regions,” Anil Koul a travel agent from Delhi said.
Doodhpathri also known as “Valley of Milk” is situated 40 kms from Srinagar.
Additional Deputy Commissioner who also holds additional post of Chief Executive officer, Doodhpathri Development Authority, G M Qadri said the efforts of government to develop Doodhpathri is going in full swing and soon it would be a full-fledged destination for tourists.
“We are working to make it eco-friendly destination. There would be no concrete infrastructure. The idea is to keep it in its natural form,” he said.
On the occasion, local tour operators suggested Qadri to take some immediate remedial measures to sell the place in their tour package.
The tour operators that were accompanying the delegation include Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Associations (KHARA), Travel Agents Society of Kashmir (TASK), Travel Agents Association of Kashmir (TAAK) and Pahalgam Hotel Association (PHA).