Minister for Tourism Ghulam Ahmad Mir today inaugurated Kashmir Summer Tourism Festival-2014 at Kashmir Haat, here.According to a statement issued, besides recreation facilities, various government departments have set up stalls showing handicrafts, handloom products besides art and culture of the Valley for attraction of tourists at Kashmir Haat. The 9-day long festival has been organized by Tourism Department in collaboration of Handicrafts and its allied Departments.During the festival different tourist related activities will be carried out at various tourism spots with focus to highlight adventure, golf, river and eco-tourism, besides art and culture of the Valley. Financial Commissioner, Industries and Commerce, . Khursheed Ahmad Ganai, Secretary, Tourism and Culture, . Zafar Ahmad Bhat, Director, Tourism Kashmir, Talat Parvez, Director Handicrafts, . Tariq Ahmad Ganai, senior officers of line Departments and representatives of Tourism related Associations, besides tourists and locals were present on the occasion.
Speaking at the inaugural function, the Minister said that Kashmir festival was organized after a long gap with the aim to bring back the tourism sector on the “revival path”.
He hoped that the festival would be a big success for tourism boom as the weather condition in the Valley is pleasant as compared to the rising temperatures elsewhere.“Due to the vastly improved Situation in the Valley, Kashmir has experienced a huge increase in tourists influx visiting the state and it is expected that there will be a more increase this year”, he said and added that heavy rush in the summer is anticipated and almost all the Inventory of hotels are booked for the period. The Tourists visiting Kashmir during the festival will be able to experience the local culture and traditions by witnessing the events conducted during the events.
The Minister went around different stalls set up by departments of Tourism, Handicrafts, Agro Industries, ISM, Agriculture, Horticulture, Handicrafts and Agro-Industries departments and appreciated the efforts of the stall holders for installing the stalls and providing all things at one platform to the tourists during festival days. While the traditional cuisine (Wazwaan) are also be available for visitors, besides daily cultural programmes by famous artists are also being presented for the tourists and locals at Kashmir Haat and other tourist spots. Financial Commissioner Industries and Commerce, in his address said that Kashmir is distinct in tourism potential and the government is making all out efforts to promote tourism industry in the State. He gave detailed resume of the innovative steps taken by the government for promotion of world fame handicrafts products in the valley. He said new show rooms would be opened in more cities of the Country to give better marketing facilities to the artisans. Apart from Srinagar, events like paragliding at Asthanmarg Dara, Rock climbing at Nowgam, Kids festival at Zaberwan Kashmiri idol at SKICC was also organized on the first day of the festival. Local service providers such as hoteliers, guest house owners and house boat owners of Kashmir pision are already offering discounts as a special case for tour packages/tourists during the forthcoming tourist season During the festival, the tourist hub areas of the boulevard wear a festive look, as house boats, Shikara Ghats and hotels are being illuminated.