School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Jammu today organized a one day workshop on “Sustainable Destination Excellence” in collaboration with Department of Tourism, Government of Jammu & Kashmir at Golf Course Jammu. According to a statement issued to KNS, Farooq Ahmad Shah, IAS Secretary Tourism, Government of Jammu and Kashmir was the Chief Guest on the occasion. R. K Verma, Director Tourism Jammu was the guest of Honour and Prof. Parikshat Singh Manhas, Director, School of Hospitality and Tourism Management presided over the function. The session was attended by key tourism functionaries of the state including Director, CEO of all the development authorities, Joint Directors, Financial Advisor and Under Secretaries. The resources persons included Prof Marta Jusztin, Budapest Business School, Hungary and Dr. Amir Shani, Ben Gurion University of Negev. This workshop is part of the 3rd International Conference on “Sustainable Destination Excellence: Revitalizing Peace through Innovation in Tourism” to be organized by SHTM during Feb 5-6, 2016. Farooq Ahmad Shah while speaking on the occasion talked about the rich tourism resources of the state and its potential to attract millions of national and international tourists. He said that the state can be considered as the crown of Incredible India. Highlighting the importance of tourism he said that tourism brings integration and the challenges that lies ahead of tourism authorities is to change the perception about the safety of this destination. He appreciated the idea of industry-academia-government interface initiated by SHTM and extended full cooperation in future initiatives. Prof Parikshat Singh Manhas, Director, SHTM in his welcome address highlighted the role of academia in creating tourism professionals for the benefit of the stakeholders. He said that SHTM, University of Jammu is keen to contribute in tourism related policies of the state. He stressed upon the fact that there is greater need of building Industry – academia and Government interface. Prof. Marta Jusztin shared about the tourism resources of Hungary and highlighted various strategic initiatives taken by their government to promote sustainable tourism. She promoted the concept of creative tourism wherein the tourists can be actively involved in various activities. Dr. Amir Shani in his address emphasized on destination repositioning and stressed upon the need to eliminate the constraints facing the tourism sector of the state. Comparing this state with various global conflict hit destinations he proposed that J&K can plan various international level sporting events, conferences which can attract international tourists who can then become the brand ambassadors of the state. R K Verma, Director Tourism Jammu in his concluding remarks said that various innovative measures are being taken by the state government to counter the negative image created by the media. He acknowledged the contribution of this workshop in generating new thoughts for policy making. Dr. Anil Gupta, Assistant Professor, SHTM conducted the proceedings of the function. Dr. Suvidha Khanna, Assistant Professor, SHTM and Nikhil Singh Charak, Faculty, SHTM coordinated the event.
2015 Kashmir Despatch