Jammu, Feb 5: In view of increasing tourist footfall and keeping in mind the carrying capacity of the Tourist destinations of J&K, which are located in ecosensitive zones, J&K Government is developing 75 new offbeat destinations to diversify the attractions for tourists and lessen the carbon footprints on frequently visited destinations, officials said on Sunday.
“This, on one hand is a step towards Responsible and Sustainable Tourism, at the same time it ensures that the economic gains of Tourism industry percolate to the people in newer and far off places.”
The government statement issued here comes as the three-day long Outbound Travel Mart (OTM)-Mumbai, 2023 concluded last evening with J&K Tourism Pavillion, attracting an overwhelming response from the visitors.
The J&K Tourism Department had participated in this year’s OTM in a big way as part of its extensive promotional campaign being held across major cities of the country, the official statement said.
J&K pavilion was adjudged the Winner of the ‘Group Participation Award’ as 112 Co-exhibitors and participants from Jammu & Kashmir attended the travel extravaganza drawing thousands of tourists, holidaymakers, travel trade buyers and tour organizing professionals to the J&K pavilion.
The Jammu and Kashmir Pavilion set up by the Tourism Department offered the most-engaging experiences for the travel consumers and trade visitors as well as the co participants from various States and UTs besides international delegates.
Hundreds of travel trade fraternity members from Mumbai, Pune, Nasik, Nagpur, Amravati, Gujarat, Bihar, Kerala, Karnatka, Uttrakhand and even from some foreign countries visited the J&K Pavillion and interacted with the members of the official delegation and co-exhibitors from the UT.
The varied tourism products introduced by the Department during the last two years, post Covid experiences and the new initiatives captivated the attention of the travel representatives and professionals alike.
The interactions consisted of detailed presentations, various short films on known and off-beat destinations of Jammu and Kashmir and discussions on sustainable inbound & outbound travel for the year.
The officers representing the Tourism Department comprised, Amarjeet Singh, Special Secretary, Tourism, J&K, Syed Sajad Qadri, Chief Executive Officer, Tourism Development Authority Pahalgam , Sunaina Sharma, Joint Director Tourism, Jammu and Nisar Rasool, Assistant Director Tourism, Kashmir.
Amarjeet Singh while interacting with the visiting delegates and the media informed that due to the policy initiatives of the Govt coupled with sustained promotional campaign , J&K tourism has witnessed the highest ever footfall in the year 2022.
He said while strictly maintaining the scenic beauty and ecology of these areas, Govt is attracting private investment for infrastructure development at the tourist destinations. At the same time, the ecologically balanced accommodation units are coming up at these destinations in the form of homestays for which the Government has already notified guidelines.
He said the Tourism Department is expecting the sector to further grow in the current year. Besides leisure Tourism, focus is being laid on Adventure, Pilgrimage Spiritual, culture /Heritage, Wedding, MICE , Golf, Film and Border Tourism to sustain the footfall of tourists and improve their experiences.
While new Pilgrimage Circuits are being identified and promoted in an integrated way; Niche tourism activities like Bird watching, Angling, conducted Heritage Tours, etc are also being conducted in coordination with the stake holders and the domain experts to enhance the Tourist Experiences.
OTM, Mumbai is the country’s biggest and largest international travel and tourism interface. This year’s OTM, which was held at the recently launched Jio World Convention Centre, Mumbai saw the participation of over 1,250 exhibitors from 50 countries and 30 Indian states and UTs, showcasing their destinations and tourism products.
Meanwhile, on the third and final day J&K Tourism organised a road show in which representatives of Travel Trade Fraternity of Maharashtra and other visiting delegates participated.
On the occasion, a detailed Powerpoint presentation, various short films on known and off-beat destinations of Jammu and Kashmir and its adventure potential, were showcased. Also the roadshow highlighted the known and lesser-known destinations besides the art and craft, pilgrimage, adventure, border, film tourism and the upcoming events and festivals of the UT.
The travel trade from J&K appreciated the Tourism Department for providing them a platform.