Kashmir best for peace tourism: Minister


Staff member
Srinagar June 18:

Calling Kashmir as the best destination for promoting 'peace tourism', Union Tourism Minister Subodh Kanth Sahai said as far as natural beauty and serenity is concerned, the Valley has no replica.

Addressing a press conference during late hours in Srinagar, Sahai said that tourism sector in Jammu and Kashmir has been a key employment generator in the state and adds significantly to the state GDP.

"I am happy to state that Jammu and Kashmir received maximum Central Financial Assistance of Rs. 128 crore from his Ministry during the last financial year. During the first four years of the 11th plan projects worth Rs. 219 crore have been sanctioned," the minister said. He said to promote and market Jammu and Kashmir tourism aggressively, his ministry has drawn up an action plan in association with the State Government.

Sahai said that under this action plan support will be provided to the State Government, ‘for undertaking print media campaigns and production of publicity material, for organization of familiarization tours for the foreign tour operators, media and opinion makers to give them the first hand experience and knowledge of various destinations of the state and to provide complimentary space to the State Tourism Department at the India Pavilion set up during major international fairs like World Travel Market and ITB.’

"I am serious to promote the state tourism. It has been decided to organize a Shikara Festival as an annual event and the sound and light show at Shalimar Bagh would be revived jointly by ITDC and the State Tourism Department," he said. Sahai further said that Ministry would be happy to provide an assistance up to Rs. 5 crore for developing Art and Craft Haat in the state of Jammu and Kashmir on the line of Delhi Haat.

"Ministry would sanction a project related to Laser Show at the Dal Lake. Besides, the ministry will also facilitate participation of private entrepreneurs and stake holders for development of various destination in Public Private Enterprise (PPP) mode," he announced. He was flanked by the Union Minister of State for Tourism, Sultan Ahmed, Tourism Minister of state of Jammu and Kashmir Nawang Rigzin Jora and the minister of State for Tourism Nasir Aslam Wani.