Prominent businessman and hotelier Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya has urged upon the government led by Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed to take practical steps in promoting and improving tourism related infrastructure in the state. “The government should focus more on tourism as it is a vital component of economic industry. Chief Minister is very dedicated in boosting tourism sector in the state and his frequent visits to tourist destinations and deliberations with stakeholders are a proof to that. But we would appeal the CM to take practical steps to turn JK as tourism destination in the world,” Chaya told KNS, Earlier, Chaya was speaking at the 12th Annual General Meeting of the Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Alliance (JKTA), which was held here. Secretary Tourism Farooq Ahmad Shah, according to the KNS correspondent, urged upon tour operators and hoteliers to promote J&K as a single unit and work under one banner and not to form too many associations. He said J&K state should take cue from the states like Rajasthan, Gujarat and Kerala where tourists visit in large numbers. “If Rajasthan can attract 3.30 crore tourists, why can’t we? These states don’t have as many tourist destinations and tourism products as we have. We have to sit together and introspect what is wrong in our promotion,” said Shah. He said Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed is keen to promote J&K and develop it as the top tourist destination in the country. Speaking on the occasion, member of JKTA Zahoor Tramboo said the year 2014 and 2015 has been tough years for tourism industry as tourist arrivals saw decline. “The 2014 floods battered the tourism industry of Kashmir. Now government should devise a strategy to set a path of recovery,” said Tramboo. He demanded a comprehensive package from government which would meet infrastructural, economic and other developmental needs. He also urged government to give priority to local entrepreneurs while outsourcing any government business establishment. Earlier, Chairman JKTA Manzoor Pakhtoon in his welcome address said J&KTA has been promoting tourism in many part of India. Last year, JKTA organize seminar in Mumbai while it has decided in this AGM to organize seminars and road shows in other states also. Representatives from other travel, trade and hotelier’s associations including KCCI President Mushtaq Wani, Secretary General KCCI and Past Chairman JKTA Faiz Ahmad Bhakshi, President KHAROF Javid Burza, KHARA President Showkat Chowdhary, senior member JKTA G R Siah, Maznoor Siddiq TAAK President, President ATOK Rauf Tramboo, President AKTO Nazir Mir, President DTOAK A H Wangoo, Chairman TAAI JK Chapter Shamim Shah, President UTTA John Mohammad, Manzoor Ahmad Wangnoo President NATA, Abdul Aziz Guru President Airport Taxi Stand Association and others were present on the occasion. Meanwhile, Jammu and Kashmir hoteliers formed JK Hoteliers’ Club to work under a single banner for tourism promotion and elecetd Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya as its chairman.
2015 Kashmir Despatch