Steering ahead the various ‘Tourism Promotional campaigns’ as a part of ‘Promotion of Offbeat Tourism Destinations, identification of New Trekking routes, adventure tourism, new tourist circuits, the Directorate of Tourism Jammu, under the active guidance of Sarmad Hafeez Secretary, Tourism, organized a one day “Tourism Promotion Conference” at Jammu Tawi Golf Course Sidhra today, wherein Tourism Stakeholders representing various Travel Associations, Travel Agents, Tour Operators and aspiring Tourism Trade operators participated and shared their achievements and suggestions for the holistic development of Jammu Tourism.
The objective of organizing the conference was interaction with the Travel-Trade and Tour Operator fraternity of Jammu Division and to integrate them with the recently launched Home Stay Policy, identification of new tourist circuits in each district, development and promotion of 75 Offbeat destinations of UT, J&K alongwith deliberating on the tourism promotion plan of all travel stakeholders.
The travel fraternity members presented their tourism promotion plans in the form of PowerPoint presentations especially with regard to upcoming events, tourism circuits and suggestions for development of unexplored areas in Jammu division. Various suggestions regarding upliftment of Tourism Sector in Jammu Division were put forth by the stakeholders which were welcomed with a positive note by the Director Tourism Jammu.
Speaking on the occasion, the Director Tourism Jammu, Vivekanand Rai laid special emphasis on inclusion of local youth in promoting the unexplored tourist destinations of Jammu Division and assured that the department shall work in tandem with all registered Travel Trade associations so that a detailed roadmap and calendar of activities is worked upon for the coming season and next year.
He reiterated that the focus of the department is on integration of the ‘Off Beat Tourist Destinations’ with tourist circuits and upcoming popular tourist areas like Pancheri, Sudhmahadev, Mantalai, Dudu and Kulwanta for holistic development of these areas with regard to potential in adventure tourism, rural tourism, eco-tourism, heritage tourism among other tourism related activities.
He also called upon all tourism fraternity members to focus on unexplored and the ‘Off Beat Tourist Destinations’ of Jammu region and publicize these areas in their promotional plans for effective integration of these unexplored gems of the nature with tourist map. He also assured that the department shall hold more interactive sessions with all stakeholders across the Tourism sector in the near future.
During the day long interactive conference, the Joint Director Tourism, Sunaina Sharma Mehta apprised that the senior officers of Tourism department have recently held various awareness cum sensitization camps at Chennai, Udhampur, Jammu, Kathua, Samba, Rajouri, Reasi and other areas wherein special emphasis was laid on the identification and mapping of tourist circuits, trekking routes, identification and capacity building for interested Homestay proprietors along with dissemination of information regarding tourism department policies like ‘Homestay Registration Policy recently notified in June 2022’, ‘Village cooperatives’ formulated through the cooperative department at various tourist destinations.
She further said that the Tourism Department is actively working towards updating the tourism literature so that tourists get the correct information about all popular as well as the unexplored tourist destinations of the region.She laid special impetus on the registration of all tourist trade units with the NIDHI Plus portal of Ministry of Tourism, Government of India which provides integration for registered units with various booking websites of national and international repute, and the stakeholders must also get themselves integrated with the departmental activities along with sharing more constructive suggestions for betterment of tourism sector in Jammu region.
She further emphasized that the travel operators, who are the actual promoters of tourism of any area, must update their existing tour packages for Jammu region by integrating the ‘off beat tourist destinations’, areas with special focus on eco-agro-rural tourism, adventure tourism, et al so that effective linkage is achieved between all tourist destinations of this region especially for domestic tourists.
Apart from the officers of the Directorate of Tourism Jammu, prominent among those who were present during the said conference were tourist trade association members from Jammu, Katra, TAAJ, AJHALA, JATO, TFJ, JASA, travel fraternity members from all districts of Jammu region especially Udhampur, Patnitop, Mahu Valley in Ramban, Samba, Bhaderwah, Paddar among others. The travel fraternity members who presented their detailed PPTs and spoke on the occasion were Rajinder Sharma, Captain Anil Gaur, Dr. Taran Singh, Rajkumar Padha, Ashiq Hussain, Tanvir Ahmed, Abhay Bakaya, B.B. Kotwal, Kushal Magotra, Pawan Gupta and Varun Gupta.