Advisor to Lieutenant Governor, Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar today described Jammu and Kashmir as an amazing Golfing Destination in the country while maintaining that the tourism map of the region offers everything for travellers and tourists alike.He made these remarks while addressing the inaugural function of Golf Tourism Summit- cum-Golf Tournament here organized by The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) in collaboration with J&K Tourism Department and Chhattisgarh Tourism Board.The Golf Tournament will be played at Srinagar and Pahalgam Golf Courses of the Kashmir valley.
Advisor Bhatnagar said that with respect to golf, J&K has amazing, scenic beauty & perfect environs and professionally laid golf courses. He observed that everyone who visits Kashmir leaves happy, which is a biggest tribute to the spirit of J&K and the hospitality it offers to the visitors.The Advisor said that there is a lot of opportunity for travel and tour operators and hotel industry also in the region due to the presence of these wonderful golf courses. He said the Government is enhancing and strengthening logistic facilities for tourists in a staggered manner.Speaking on the occasion, Chief Secretary Chhattisgarh, Amitabh Jain appreciated the FICCI for bringing J&K and Chhattisgarh together through Golf Tournament, saying that the two regions of the country can explore the golfing destinations and also complement each other through Golf Tourism.
“We thank FICCI and J&K Tourism for inviting us to play golf in the Paradise. Playing golf in Kashmir is a dream,” Jain said.Additional Director General, Union Ministry of Tourism, Rupinder Brar also spoke on the occasion and noted that J&K is creating its own footprints globally and as stakeholders “we need to create right narrative and perspective before people and act like responsible travellers and tourists to put right message so that both domestic as well as foreign tourists can be attracted to J&K.Speaking on the occasion, Secretary Tourism J&K, Sarmad Hafeez said that tourism in J&K is wonderfully going well and the region has witnessed the best five months ever in terms of tourist footfall.He also appreciated the support extended by the tour and travel industry with great support from the Ministry of Tourism, GoI, to promote J&K Tourism and also the UT as a golfing destination in the country.
He added that J&K has a whole golfing circuit with five Golf courses, offering wonderful layouts for professional golfers across the country and abroad.Managing Director Chhattisgarh Tourism Board, Anil Kumar Sahu while delivering a presentation on Chhattisgarh Tourism gave an overview of the tourist destinations and the potential the Central Indian has.Chairman FICCI J&K Council, Irfan Ahmad Guju, Co- Chairman FICCI J&K Council, Rajesh Sharma and Member FICCI Tourism Committee and President India Golf Tourism Association, Rajan Sehgal also spoke on the occasion and appreciated the wide range of services being offered by J&K Government in tourism sector and through golfing destinations.
Director, Tourism, Kashmir, Dr G N Itoo, other senior officers, representatives of hotel industry, travel trade, ace golfers of the country were present on the occasion.Later in the evening, a panel discussion on ‘showcasing of India’s diversity of tourism products and destinations’ was also held.Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and MD C.G. Minor Forest Produce, Govt of Chhattisgarh, Sanjay Shukla; Minister Counsellor Economic Affairs, German Embassy, Dr Stephan Hesselmann; Commercial Counsellor and Trade Commissioner, Austrian Embassy, Hans Joerg Hoertnagl; Director SKICC, Javed Humayu Bakhshi, Chairman IATO J&K Chapter, Nasir Shah and President J&K Golf Association, Mushtaq Burza were the panellists during the discussion.
The discussion delved into the diversity of tourism products from Golf Tourism, MICE, Medical & Wellness Tourism, Agri- Herbal Tourism, Eco & Ethno Tourism, Sports Tourism to Adventure and Wildlife Tourism that can be intricately linked together to provide a unique and memorable experiences to domestic and foreign tourists alike with a special focus on Chhattisgarh and Jammu & Kashmir.Also a question and answer session was also held wherein participants raised several queries which were satisfactorily answered by the panellists.