‘Kashmir can easily outdo most of the European countries’


SRINAGAR: Secretary Ministry of Tourism, GoI, Yogendra Tripathi on Thursday said Kashmir is one of the most beautiful places in the world which could easily outdo most of the European countries.
Tripathi arrived here on Thursday on a three-day tour to Srinagar and Gulmarg to review preparations for upcoming tourism season and also inspect infrastructural developmental works.
Secretary Tourism Rigzian Sampheal, Director Tourism Kashmir Nisar Ahmad Wani, Principal Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering (IISM) Col JS Dhillon, Principal Institute of Hotel Management Srinagar Qazi Shabir Ahmad, MD J&K Cable Car Corporation Shamim Ahmad and other officers of the tourism department received the Tripathi and accompanied him to various sites in Srinagar.
Tripathi who was also accompanied by Economic Advisor, Ministry of Tourism, Sandeep Kulshreshtha and other officers toured Dal Lake and visited houseboats, Char Chinari and Sher-i-Kashmir International Conference Centre (SKICC), an official release read.
Impressed with the facilities at SKICC, Tripathi asked its director, Bakhshi Javed Humayun to market the facility as an international conferencing centre.
He was also shown the recently commissioned Musical Fountain and Laser Show which, he said, would be a major tourist attraction.
He sought information about the tourist footfall and the infrastructure development taking place in the state for the memorable holidays of the travellers.
Secretary Tourism Rigzian Samphel informed him that J&K Tourism Department has launched aggressive marketing campaigns by organising road shows within and outside India, attending travel fairs in major cities besides publishing advertisements in the leading Indian newspapers.
Samphel informed him that tourist footfall was picking up and wayside facilities were also being developed for the comfortable journey of the travellers.
The GoI secretary also had a brief meeting with Vice Chancellor Central University, Prof Mehraj-ud-Din, University Registrar, Prof Fayaz Ahmad, Coordinator, Dr Ramjit and Faculty Department of Tourism Studies Faizan Ashraf Mir, at Vivanta by Taj Srinagar for joint collaboration in conducting research studies on contemporary themes including revival of tourism, destination rebuilding during crisis and disaster, organising international conference on sustainable tourism for pace and development, conducting skill-based courses in the tourism and hospitality management, offering attractive tourism-related courses in collaboration with Indian Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering.
On his second day on Friday (today), the Tripathi will tour Gulmarg and inaugurate various summer adventure courses at Institute of Skiing and Mountaineering Botapathri and visit Kangdoori and Afarwat.
Deputy Director Tourism (Publicity) Reyaz Ahmad Shah, Deputy Director Tourism (Recreation) Sarfarz Mohammad, Deputy Director M&W Zahoor Ahmad also accompanied (him) during the tour, the release added.

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