Anantnag: CEO, NITI Aayog (National Institution for Transforming India), Amitabh Kant, Saturday visited Pahalgam where he chaired a meeting of tourism officers.
CEO had a detailed review of strategy, progress and steps being taken up for development of tourism sector in Jammu and Kashmir.
Secretary, Tourism, Sarmad Hafeez, presented power point presentation detailing achievements, strategies being employed to attract tourists and develop new tourist destinations in J&K followed by a threadbare discussion on the same.
Secretary apprised the CEO NITI Aayog that several steps like organising summer and winter festivals at various locations, tourist festivals at religious places and sufi shrines, conducting food festivals, widespread publicity in print and digital media, conducting road shows, weekend festivals, destination based festivals and connected events are being taken up to boost tourist footfall in J&K.
He added that several capacity building programmes have also been conducted by the department. Besides, several consultants and event management companies have been engaged aimed at exploring and utilizing the tourist potential of J&K. He also apprised the CEO about some issues like sanction of PMDP 2nd and PRASAD projects, sanction of new ropeway projects for Pahalgam and Shivkhori besides special package for border tourism under BADP.
CEO NITI Aayog, while interacting with officers of the tourism department, said that the department should invite the film industry for shooting in picturesque locations, maximise usage of social media for publicity, focus on high value tourism and invite tourism experts to share their experiences for promotion of tourism in Jammu and Kashmir. “Professional photography of tourist destinations, outsourcing of services in tourist areas and providing state of the art facilities can boost tourism of Kashmir globally”, he asserted.
Appreciating the work of tourism department, he assured the department full support from the government.
Director Tourism G.N Itoo, MD Tourism Fakhruddin, Director Planning Tourism, CEO Pahalgam, SDM Pahalgam, AD tourism and other concerned officers were present on the occasion.