MUMBAI,13th JANUARY 2017 (GPN) : It is my privilege to be here in Mumbai to showcase the potential of J&K Tourism. Kashmir as you all are well aware is among the World’s Top Destination and Crown of Incredible India. In the last 10-12 Years Tourism to Kashmir grew manifold with home tourists comprising of nearly 85% and rest from across the globe, in addition infrastructure both in private sector & the Government has also been upgraded. Unfortunately during the last summer, due to turmoil the tourism activity got completely disturbed resulting to huge loss to the Tourism Industry. Now due to improvement in the situation in Kashmir, the tourism, though presently in little number has returned back to valley and all the activities have started back such as Gondola Cable Car, operation of all the Hotels and to start up, Skiing in Gulmarg. The recent snow fall has given a fresh impetus to everything.
JAMMU AND KASHMIR has seen its share of ups and downs in the last two decades, once a favourite destination for domestic and foreign tourists, it received a major setback with the onset of militancy in 1990 since then it has been a roller coaster ride.
JK has received strong support from the country and tourist have come flocking back to state after every setback, be it the Kargil war in 1999 ,the disturbances of 2008 ,2010 ,flood of 2014 or the recent turmoil the state has always come back strongly .
The stake holders have worked hard in this regards to put tourism back on track their effort has always been supplemented by the domestic tour operators across the country and particularly those from Maharashtra.
We started 2016 on a very high note, first 6 months witnessed all time high arrival, however they fell down sharply the fallowing 6 months .with a settled scene the tourism scenario is looking up beat.
Hotels bookings for winter and coming spring are picking up and summer is looking promising, the tour operators along with Tourism department is planning a series of Road shows across the length and breadth of country to build confidence and dispel negative perception about the state. It becomes imperative for the state to hold press meets and talk to prospective tourists and to apprise them about the prevailing situation and build confidence in them.
The State Tourism Department invited Top 25 leading Tour Operators from Maharashtra,Gujarat, Kolkata and Delhi who on our instant invitation visited Kashmir just around the Christmas time and interacted with all the Stake Holders. They stayed a night in Srinagar, Gulmarg and Pahalgam and interacted with cross section of people both within the Hospitality circle and general public few of them indirectly connected with tourism. The Operators were overwhelmed by the warm hospitality extended by all the people connected with Tourism and found every one proactive towards tourism. In this regard, we decided to come to Mumbai and with the active support of the leading Tour Operators who visited Kashmir to urge people of Maharashtra to visit Kashmir as promoting and visiting Kashmir is always considered to be in the national interest. We assure all the people of Maharashtra a very peaceful and memorable holiday in Kashmir. Since the highest number of Tourists from Maharashtra visit Kashmir, it is as such paramount for the State Tourism Deptt to ensure the best of holiday in Kashmir, especially when they book there holiday thru the most responsive tour Operators some of them are here with us. Those who visited Kashmir to see for themselves the peaceful surroundings of Kashmir were M/s HeenaTravels, Kesari Travels, Raja Rani Travels, Thomas Cook, Cox & Kings, Pooja Holidays, Santosh Tour Co, Arihant Travels, Contour Travels and Patani Tours from Mumbai.
I and my Department are completelysatisfied that all the arrangements are put in to perfect order by the local tour operators, houseboat owners and Hoteliers of Kashmir to welcome tourists in large numbers. The state Tourism department is also geared up with many activities such as winter snow festival in Gulmarg and Pahalgam followed by spring festivals in March / April.
We have lot of expectations for Mumbai and Maharashtra, as their cosmopolitan crowd have always supported us and we solicit supports once again for you and we firmly believe that you will rise up to the occasion and help us promote tourism in the state.