Secretary Tourism Rigzin Sampheal today chaired a meeting with the representatives of travel and hospitality sector here at Tourist Reception Center to chalk out strategy for successful conduct of the upcoming Kashmir Festival.Secretary Tourism discussed the timing, the guests to be invited for festival and the events to be organized in the festival. Giving the essence of the festival, it was informed that the basic aim of the Tourism Festival in Kashmir is to tap the travelers during Durga Puja Holidays to showcase autumn season of the state and also offset the negative perception about Kashmir.He said the conduct of the festival was mandatory in order to create a buzz and send a positive message across the globe that Kashmir is tourist-friendly and safe destination.Rigzin Sampheal said the State is bestowed with natural beauty and landscape, besides having diverse culture, amazing art and craft, cuisine, unique music that needs to be showcased to the travelers and destination sellers.During the meeting it was decided that country’s leading travel agents and tour operators, heads of various national travel and hotel associations, MICE operators, golf promoters, celebrities from film industry especially those who have shot regularly in Kashmir, bloggers, print and electronic media both National and leading regional media houses from different states will be invited and shown state’s diverse tourism products.
Sightseeing to premier tourist attractions and resorts, shikara rides and houseboat cruise, musical evenings, adventure and water sports activities, live exhibition of handicrafts by veteran artisans, exhibition of horticulture and other allied products, networking with the local tour operators, hoteliers and houseboats owners will be the key features of the festival.On the occasion, Secretary Tourism invited suggestions from the representatives of tour operators, hoteliers, houseboat and shikara owners to make the event a grand success.While appreciating the department for organizing the festival at a bigger scale, the travel trade extended its full support to the department.They also urged the department to make the Festival an annual affair so that they can promote it in their tour itineraries.The travel trade demanded that the department should also invite heads of the educational institutes and universities, representatives from corporate houses to promote educational tours and also conferencing in the State.Director Tourism Tasaduq Jeelani called upon the local tour operators, hoteliers and houseboat owners to avail the opportunity of the presence of best tours operators of the country by networking with them for business opportunities. He stressed upon the travel trade to give discounted packages during the days of the Kashmir festival so as to attract a good number of tourists.Deputy Director Publicity Riyaz Ahmad Shah, Deputy Director Registration Waseem Raja, Deputy Director Recreation Mohammad Sarfaraz, were also present in the meeting. The heads of Associations like TAAK, TASK, KHARA, KHAROF, PILTOF, HBOA, AKTO, ATOAK, JKTA, UTAA, NTTA, TTIG, State Chapters of IATO, ADTOI, Shikara Association etc., participated in the meeting.