Srinagar, JULY 15: Secretary, Tourism, Sarmad Hafeez on Friday visited Bandipora district and took a meeting to review the progress on development of tourism infrastructure across the district and other measures being taken to promote tourism.
As per an official, the meeting was attended by Deputy Commissioner, Bandipora, Dr. Owais Ahmad; Director Tourism G N Itoo; ADDC, Mohammad Ashraf Hakak; ADC Bandipora; Waseem Raja; Joint Director Planning and other concerned officers.
Speaking during the meeting, Sarmad Hafeez impressed upon the officers that people should be asked to register for home stays to facilitate tourists and to get engaged in income generation programmes. He said home stays are meant to percolate the benefits to grass root level and to benefit the locals through tourism sector.
Secretary Tourism also stressed upon the officers to hold capacity building programmes for local youth and engage them in tourism sector. He said local youth should be trained in trades related to tourism like Including guiding, catering and others, so that more jobs can be created for locals.
Sarmad Hafeez also said that special thrust is being laid on promotion of adventure tourism in the district as Bandipora has world class treks for adventure tourists including Sheerasar, Daetwas, Patalwan and other amazing treks in Gurez valley.
The Secretary also said that Grand Gurez festival will be held by the end of this month to highlight the potential of tourism in Gurez valley. He also said that Administration has identified various areas to bring them on tourism map including the areas surrounding Wullar. He said short and long term measures are being taken to give a flip to tourism sector that shall change socio-economic condition of the people.
During the meeting, Deputy Commissioner apprised the Secretary about the measures being taken to promote tourism in the district and the infrastructure being developed.
It was given out by the DC that efforts are on to develop infrastructure at tourist locations of the district including Wullar, Auwthwatto, Gurez, Sheerasar and other destinations.
The Deputy Commissioner also said that to ensure eco-friendly tourism in the district, Homestays and tented accommodations are being promoted in Gurez Valley by motivating local youth to establish home stays and permissions were also granted for tented accommodation.
He added that tourists were attracted to these Home stays and Tented accommodation, thereby providing an opportunity to locals to earn a livelihood with a negligible investment and better returns.