With an objective to give travel industry a complete image makeover, Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, Friday emphasized upon exploring how smartness can improve competitiveness in the context of state’s tourism destinations. To begin with, he desired that Tourism Department conceive a plan for Smart Tourist Destination for Pahalgam and Patnitop resorts. “Small is beautiful. Time has come for our tourist destinations to offer smart solutions in leisure, transport, hospitality and businesses for comfort of our visitors,” he stated. The Chief Minister made these observations while interacting with business heads of various companies that offer smart solutions in healthcare, sports, communications, constructions, heritage and hospitality sectors. Stressing upon collection and analysis of data at such destinations that receive relatively large number of tourist footfall, Mufti Sayeed said this will help in making these more sustainable and adaptable to the needs and tastes of our tourists. “As a result, visitors obtain a more satisfying stay, besides improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the tourist destinations,” he observed. The Chief Minister also stressed upon Tourism Department to integrate villages falling within the jurisdiction of various leisure destinations into the concept plan. The plan for creating Smart Tourist Destinations must envisage creation of high-end accommodation, availability of quality public transportation and high-tech communication, collection of tourism data, diversification in tourism-related activities, emphasis on eco-tourism and maintenance of green spaces, proper traveller handholding and scientific disposal of waste. During the meeting, various business heads briefed the Chief Minister about smart navigation which efficiently connects city operations with user and infrastructure procedures. Executive Director, Shapoorji-Pallonji Engineering & Constructions, S. C. Dixit, Head, Business Development North, Sterling & Wilson, Rajan Kapila, Director (Design Build), Shapoorji-Pallonji Engineering & Constructions, Barun Pal Chaudhary and M’cons Group’s Manoj V. Pardasany were among the members of the delegation, which interacted with the Chief Minister.
2015 Kashmir Despatch