After 3 decades, Kashmir hosts mega national tourism conclave


‘Paradise open for investment dominates session’


SRINAGAR, May 04: With Kashmir’s tourism tally skyrocketing, the hoteliers are hopeful for bigger hotel chains to open in Kashmir “to become a part of the development of Jammu and Kashmir.” The call that paradise is open for investment dominated all sessions in the first ever national tourism conclave held in Srinagar after a gap of three decades on Saturday.

The conclave was jointly organized by All India Hoteliers Federation and Restaurant Association of India and the Department of Tourism. The event was held at Hotel Radisson in Srinagar.

All India Hoteliers Federation said the event will prove beneficial in attracting the bigger investment in Jammu and Kashmir.

“We are happy to be a part of this conclave. We are also jubilant with the progress recorded by Jammu and Kashmir. We want to be a part of this development. In this conclave, we brought the stakeholders including chains together. Hopefully, it will serve as an eye-opener for big chains (hotels) to invest in the valley and become a part of its development,” Girish Oberoi, President Hotel Association North India said.

Oberoi said the association had previously held a similar event in the valley back in 1986. “The federation held an event in the valley 38 years before. Now again we held an event here and this is certainly going to prove helpful in attracting bigger hotel chains to Kashmir,” he said.

During the event, Director of Tourism Kashmir, Raja Yaqoob, emphasised the need to further promotion of Kashmir as an attractive tourist destination.

Stressing the need of expanding awareness and investment opportunities, the director tourism suggested the tourists to explore the region’s rich heritage, culture, and culinary offerings

“Kashmir is already branded. It is an attractive destination. We need more promotion here. Today’s conclave had many investors. It will go a long way in sending a message that Kashmir is open for investment and people are welcome here. People should not be confined here to mountains. Apart from the landscape, the heritage, craft, and culture are very rich. Here food is world class. The conclave is aimed at promoting tourism.”

Yaqoob also unveiled intentions to host a tourism development summit, extending invitations to stakeholders across the country and arranging an Ambassadors’ meet aimed at bolstering tourism opportunities.

During the event, the stakeholders held discussions, presentations, and interactive sessions at focused on various aspects such as infrastructure development, safety measures, marketing campaigns, and community engagement.

The conclave concluded with the development of concrete strategies and recommendations to tackle obstacles and maximize the vast potential of Kashmir’s tourism sector.

Pertinently, the government is making efforts to attract investment in various sectors including tourism. As such the Jammu and Kashmir government is eyeing an average investment target of Rs 2000 crore per year for the next 5 years.

Post pandemic, the tourism number in Jammu and Kashmir has been increasing. Last year, Jammu and Kashmir became a global tourism hub, after 2.02 crore tourists and over 50,000 foreign visited the union territory—(KNO)


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