Srinagar: The University of Kashmir on Tuesday celebrated the World Tourism Day under the theme, ‘Rethinking Tourism’.
Mr Sarmad Hafeez, IAS, Commissioner/Secretary, Tourism, J&K Government, was the chief guest on the occasion, while Registrar KU Dr Nisar Ahmad Mir and Mr Mahmood A Shah, Director Handicrafts J&K were the guests of honour.
The programme was organised by the varsity’s Department of Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure Studies (DTHLS) in collaboration with Himalayan Welfare Organisation (HWO).
In his presidential address, Mr Sarmad Hafeez highlighted J&K’s vast tourism potential and the new initiatives being taken by the Tourism Department to promote untapped tourism destinations across the UT.
Calling for “active partnership” between the University of Kashmir and the Tourism Department, Mr Hafeez said there is not a single place in the world other than Kashmir that can offer as much on the tourism platter.
He, however, said it’s important for institutions and young students to collaborate and jointly make a difference in the promotion of tourism sector that directly or indirectly concerns every individual.
Mr Hafzeez also said that Jammu and Kashmir endeavours to undertake sustainable tourism and revive some of its rich traditions and offer the same on its tourism circuit.
KU Registrar Dr Nisar A Mir said the University is committed to create a human resource that benefits the tourism industry. He urged the Tourism Secretary and other stakeholders to do the hand-holding and up-skilling of the university’s tourism students to boost their journey of becoming tourism professionals.
In his special address, Mr Mahmood A Shah called for “diversifying tourism products” in Jammu and Kashmir and also addressing the “information deficit” related to tourist places. He said craft tours are now being offered as a package to tourists to explore the UT’s “handicraft and handloom wealth.”
Coordinator DTHLS Dr Reyaz A Qureshi delivered the welcome address and called for greater Industry-Academic collaboration in areas of tourism and hospitality to develop well-trained tourism professionals.
President HWO Mr Mushtaq A Pahalgami and President Travel Agents Association of Kashmir (TAAK) Mr Farooq A Kathoo also shared the dais and highlighted the importance of partnership between various tourism stakeholders to take the Industry forward on the path of progression.
Dr Ajaz A Khaki delivered the welcome address and vote of thanks, while Dr Zubair Ahmad delivered the special address.
The event saw a colourful cultural programme, display of paintings, Vlogs, a skit and a dance fusion by the students of DTHLS related to the theme of the programme.