Srinagar: Encouraged by a heavy rush of tourists this winter after witnessing two years of total failure due to administrative and COVID-19 restrictions, Jammu and Kashmir tourism department has been organizing road and musical shows, besides marathons in different parts of the country during the past few weeks to attract more guests this summer.
Asia’s largest Tulip Garden on the foothill of Zabarwan hills and overlooking famed Dal Lake is all set to open for tourists later this month.
However, last year due to COVID restrictions, the garden, brainchild of the former chief minister and senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad, was deserted.
In 2019, the summer and winter season recorded almost zero occupancies after the government-directed tourists to leave Kashmir valley days before the centre abrogated Article 370 and 35 A besides divided the Jammu and Kashmir into two UTs.
An official spokesman said the department has held 21 roads shows in different parts of the country in order to promote tourism outside the Union Territory (UT).
He said the department in collaboration with the Travel Agents Society of Kashmir (TASK) organized a grand promotional evening and roadshow in Chennai in which more than 160 prominent travel agents including heads of main travel bodies participated.
He said the highlight of the event was a detailed presentation of J&K tourism by Additional Secretary Tourism JK, Waseem Raja about the known and lesser-known tourist destinations, art and craft, pilgrim and adventure tourism besides the upcoming festivals.
Raja appraised the jam-packed gathering about the rigorous promotional campaign launched by the department to attract tourists from across the country and the positive outcome of the events in terms of increasing tourist footfall during the winter season in the UT.
Highlighting the potential of Chennai as an emerging market for J&K tourism, he sought support from the local travel trade fraternity and the head of the associations for promoting J&K’s tourism potential.
The presentation was followed by an interactive session with the local travel trade, who put forth their suggestions to further improve the tourism services in the UT.
The roadshow was attended by various prominent personalities of Chennai including Director Information and PR Tamil Nadu Bhaskaran, Joint Director Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation P Pushparaj, travel trade representatives of Chennai including President Tamil Nadu Tour, Travel and Hospitality Association VK T Balan, Chairman TAAI Southern Region K Shah ul Hamid, President Tamil Nadu Tourist Vehicle Operators Association A Afzal, Secretary ADTOI Tamil Nadu Chapter Ashok Kumar, Director Tollywood John Vijay and other tour operators.
Similar roads shows were organized at Bhubaneswar in Odisha, Indore in Madhya Pradesh and other cities of the country. The J&K Tourism department also took part in major Travel Trade Fairs held at many prominent cities in the country.