Under the close supervision of Secretary to the Government, Tourism Department J&K Sarmad Hafeez, the senior officers of Tourism Department held vigorous field tours to the offbeat tourist destinations under the ‘Jan Abhiyan’ campaign, recently launched by the government as a precursor to the ‘Back to Village Phase 4′.
A team visited the offbeat tourist destination ‘Aithem’ in Jammu district which is an upcoming tourist wonder for the paragliding and adventure enthusiasts. Amarjeet Singh, Special Secretary to the Government, Tourism Department, Sunaina Mehta Sharma, Joint Director Tourism Jammu along with Vishav Pratap Singh, Deputy Secretary Tourism Department visited village Aithem as part of the ‘Jan Abhiyan’ campaign.
Detailed deliberations regarding ‘Homestay Registration Policy’ of Tourism Department J&K, identification and Capacity building of interested Homestay proprietors, formation of village cooperatives, identification and mapping of untapped tourism potential areas were held with the tourism stakeholders, potential homestay proprietors and PRI members.
Speaking on the occasion, Amarjeet Singh, Special Secretary to the Government, Tourism Department said that the focus of the Tourism Department is on the overall development of tourist circuits vis-à-vis the offbeat tourist destinations and necessary directions have been issued down the line to implement the vision of the government for popularizing and developing these hidden gems of nature both in Jammu and Kashmir division. He emphasized on the need to enhance the dialogue between the department and the stakeholders to fill critical gaps in holistic development of all tourist destinations thereby enhancing the livelihood opportunities for locals especially the youth.
Sunaina Sharma elaborately defined the deliverables of the Tourism Department which have been outlined by the government for the ongoing ‘Jan Abhiyan’ of B2V4. She emphasized on the need for an effective and efficient approach towards ensuring visibility of the department on ground, to ensure that all the departmental schemes/ tourism promotional activities are practically implemented.
The officers also invited suggestions from the locals and travel trade members present during the interactive meeting, regarding promotion of New Tourist Places and bringing them on the national/ international Tourism map. Interestingly both the destinations of Aithem and Jhajjar Kotli have been designated as ‘Off Beat Tourist Destinations’ of Jammu District among other places, and the Tourism Department is laying special emphasis on overall development and integration of these destinations with the tourism map so that diversification of tourism areas is accomplished with true essence.