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LG Sinha chairs high-level meeting to promote tourism in J&K

Last Updated on July 22, 2022 at 10:09 am

J&K Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha presided over a high-level meeting at Raj Bhawan to discuss the latest initiatives of the tourism department. The Lt. Governor requested a thorough report on homestays, the installation of tents at popular tourist destinations, adventure sports, newly discovered hiking routes, border tourism, and capacity building programmes at all levels.

The chair learned that there are about 800 home stays registered with the Tourism Department while discussing the steps being taken to promote home stays in the UT. The Lt Governor set the goal of increasing the capacity of home stays to 25,000 beds by the end of the year and instructed Secretary of Tourism Sarmad Hafeez to give a report on the number of visitors using these home stays.

The tourism department was given the task of locating key tourist destinations where public-private partnerships might be used to develop tented lodging. The J&K UT administration is promoting tent stays at picturesque sites in an effort to capitalise on the growing popularity of homestays and tented lodgings among domestic and international visitors as well as backpackers, said the Lt Governor.

The department of tourism was instructed to set up the tented colonies at 30 locations which have been already identified.  The Lt. Governor instructed the department to find tourist locations where ropeways may also be created, highlighting the need to make the tourist spots more accessible in addition to recognising more key attractions for the tourists.

The Activity Plan for the 75 Offbeat Destinations designated by the Tourism Department, was thoroughly presented by Sarmad Hafeez, Secretary to the Government, Tourism Department. These are being developed with proper infrastructure and requisite facilities for the tourists. In addition to providing activities for tourists at all tourist destinations, the Lt. Governor instructed the officials to provide public amenities, utilities, parking facilities, sanitation facilities, cleanliness, signs, and toilet units.

In order to address the issue of overcharging, the department was further urged to investigate the potential for putting up pre-paid taxi counters at different tourist destinations. The Lt. Governor instructed the department to adopt a result-oriented and outcome-based strategy at the planning stage for the efficient execution of the projects after reviewing the ongoing projects funded by the Capex budget of the Tourism directorate.

Five tourist destinations, including the Wular Lake, Tosamaidan-Doodhpathri, Surinsar-Mansar, Basohli-Sarthal, and Bhaderwah, have been forwarded to the Indian government, according to information provided on Swadesh Darshan 2.0. The physical and financial state of the Swadesh Darshan Scheme was also explained to the chair (PMDP Projects). The meeting was attended by the Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, the Additional Chief Secretary for Finance, Vivek Bhardwaj, the Lt. Governor’s Principal Secretary, Nitishwar Kumar, the MD of JKTDC, Syed Hamid, the Director of Tourism for Kashmir, Dr. GN Itoo, and other top officials.