SRINAGAR, AUGUST 19- Secretary Tourism, Mr. Farooq Ahmed Shah today convened a meeting to review the progress of Tourism Department here this afternoon.
The meeting was attended by Director Tourism, Kashmir, Mr. Mehmood Ahmed Shah, Deputy Director Tourism Publicity, Deputy Director Registration and Deputy Director Enforcement.
The meeting was informed that Tourism industry in Jammu and Kashmir which was all set to receive record number of tourists this season is now witnessing low tourism activity especially in Kashmir Valley due to the prevailing situation.
It was informed in the meeting that 2015 witnessed the resurgence of tourism in Kashmir valley after vigorous promotional campaign launched by the department and the efforts supplemented by the private tourism stakeholders which resulted in increase in arrivals this year. This has compelled the private airlines to add more flights and this number went up to 37 with the introduction of GO -Air evening flights, the meeting was told.
Moreover, a comprehensive publicity plan encompassing new destinations and tourism products envisaged by the Tourism department was also in the process of being showcased and all preparations were ready in this regard.
However with the onset of prevailing situation, the daily arrival of tourists by air and road has gone down from 10,000-12,000 to few hundred. The cancellations have affected Hoteliers, Houseboat owners, Airlines and other tourism stakeholders across the valley.
Further, many bollywood shootings of big and middle budget films have been cancelled and these banners have moved their shootings to Himachal Pradesh. Likewise the tourists intending to come to Kashmir have also opted for Himachal Pradesh and other neighboring destinations.
The Secretary Tourism was further informed that work on some projects is on fast track like Food Craft Institute (FCI) Jammu, TRC Dhera Baba Bindu Reasi, Tourist Complex Bani-Basholi, Tourist Facilitation Centre at Kargil and Leh and some of the projects are being commissioned soon.
The Secretary Tourism also chaired the 36th meeting of Board of Governors (BoG) of Institute of Hotel Management Srinagar here this afternoon.
The meeting was told that 130 students are undergoing Tourism Management Training and 150 are doing Diploma in this institution. He was informed that 800 youth were trained in progress and different tourism management trades under Hunar Say Rozgar Tak.
The BoG was also informed that IHM Srinagar recently issued a notification for 6 months training of 3000 candidates in different tourism trades like landscaping, Gardening and tourist facilitation.
The last date for receipt of application is 3rd September 2016, the BoG meet was told.