Srinagar, Feb 28: Minister for Tourism, Tassaduq Hussain Mufti Wednesday chaired a meeting to review the functioning of the Department of Tourism, Kashmir and Jammu and Kashmir Tourism Development Corporation (JKTDC).
During the meeting, the Minister sought details about the departmental assets, their upgradation and renovation, capacity building programmes of the staff, waste management of the assets and promotional activities being taken up by the department.
Vice Chairman, JKTDC Rafi Ahmad Mir, Secretary Tourism Sarmad Hafeez, Director Tourism Kashmir Mahmood A Shah, Deputy Directors of Tourism Peerzada Zahoor and Wasim Raja besides other officers of the department and Corporation attended the meeting who apprised him about the developmental activities taking place at various tourist resorts for the comfortable stay of the tourists.
Director Tourism, Kashmir Mahmood A Shah gave a detailed presentation on the functioning of the department and its activities.
He informed the Minister that the department has 61 huts, 28 restaurants, 29 office buildings, 10 parks, nine kiosks and four community centers at different resorts which are being maintained and promoted by the department.
The Minister was also informed about development of the wayside facilities at far off places like Razdan Top in Bandipora where travellers stay put for over a night after hectic days of travelling.
The Minister stressed on consulting experts for proper designing of huts and other assets at tourist places that not only have aesthetically beautiful facade gelling with nature but also have beautiful interiors.
He also stressed on having building codes for every tourist place keeping in view every aspect of these places before raising any structures.
“We should raise structures only after consulting experts in the respective fields. Our structures should gel with nature and should be eco-friendly,” the Minister said, adding that it should also be known how much local material can be used to give it local touch and should be sturdy enough to withstand extreme weather conditions, besides having proper waste management system in place.
The Minister was also informed about various festivals and events that the JKTDC organized for the promotion of its assets and services.
Secretary, Tourism Sarmad Hafeez who is also MD JKTDC gave the detailed presentation on the JKTDC and its properties.
Secretary, Tourism informed that JKTDC has 3665 bed capacity per day and runs 37 restaurants and cafeterias across the state besides having a fleet of luxury vehicles that cater to transportation needs of the tourists.
In order to further promote its properties, Secretary Tourism informed that they have tied up with the leading online travel companies like Makemytrip Inc, GoIbibo, OYO rooms etc. to further push up its revenue.
The Minister, while emphasizing on promoting the properties through a beautifully designed resourceful website, stressed on capacity building programmes of the staff for better services.
He said the staff needs to be trained through professional crash courses in housekeeping, food production and sanitation to make the stay of the visitors memorable.
The Minister directed for time-bound completion of the tasks taken up during the meeting for smooth functioning of the department and the Corporation.